WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party called a mediator helps people in conflict negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. The parties involved in the mediation control the outcome. A mediator facilitates communication, promotes understanding, assists the parties to identify their needs and interests, and uses creative problem-solving techniques to enable the parties to reach their own agreement (Australian Mediation Association)
Mediation can be used when:
- An employee has alleged psychological harm due to workplace factors, this could be bullying, harassment, interpersonal conflict, job design, etc.
- An employee has an accepted Worker’s Compensation claim, but there may be factors impeding a successful return to work e.g., employer/employee relationship, communication issues, organisational factors
- As an employer, insurer, or broker, you may recognize signs that something is going on in the workplace that could lead to a Worker’s Compensation claim, an employee resigning, or a complaint being made
- When potential workplace conflict is impacting individually, teams or organisational performance
Benefits of mediation can include:
- Engagement of parties in a timely and constructive manner
- If a workers compensation issue, to allow early determination of a return to work goal and whether a return to the pre-injury employer is viable
- This allows for opportunities to develop strategies to improve the likelihood of success in a return to work
- The early resolution of issues that may be impacting on mental health and wellbeing and performance on quality of work