Mediation and Facilitation

Resolving a workplace dispute or repairing a working relationship that has gone sour isn’t always easy. At Ellis Whittam, we can provide mediation or facilitation services to help two or more individuals or groups reach a solution that is acceptable to everyone.

We can help those involved understand each other’s perspectives, clarify potential options, and develop an appropriate action plan for the parties to follow – allowing you to move forward positively.

Get your FREE consultation

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

COVID-19 | FREE expert guidance for employers, including sample policies, template risk assessments and more

How we help

Encourage positive communication in a safe and structured environment

Unresolved conflict can be incredibly damaging to organisations, leading to increased sickness absence, reduced morale and productivity, and high staff turnover. Left to fester, this can escalate into grievance and disciplinary procedures or, worse, Employment Tribunal claims – incurring further expense and increasing the burden on management time.

Ellis Whittam’s mediation and facilitation support can help you to restore workplace harmony and defuse tensions before they drag your business down.

  • Led by trained mediators and facilitators from our team of highly-qualified HR Consultants
  • Help to decide what course of action is most appropriate based on your specific circumstances and goals
  • Resolve differences between two employees at the same level by having us mediate separately with the parties on your behalf
  • Clear the air with multiple employees by having us facilitate difficult discussions with you present
  • Decide how best to move forward with an agreed follow-up action plan

Related Information

GUIDE

No shows to disciplinary meetings – An Employer’s Guide

BLOG

Dealing with grievances the right way

Find the right solution for you, then let us handle it

Not sure whether it’s mediation or facilitation you require? Don’t worry, our HR Specialists will consult with you to get a better understanding of the situation and arrange the most suitable support.

Typically, mediation is recommended when dealing with a dispute between two employees at the same level. In this scenario, we will arrange to sit down with each party individually, then bring them together to agree on a way forward and provide an outcome that both parties feel comfortable with.

If you are struggling with whole-team issues, wider conduct concerns such as bullying and harassment, or shared disputes over pay, salary and benefits, facilitation may be a better fit. Here, we will find out what you’re trying to achieve, then facilitate a collaborative discussion that allows for candid conversations and joint problem solving.

"The advice we receive from the advisers at Ellis Whittham is comprehensive and easy to understand. We have a designated contact and the response time for all our HR issues and queries is excellent."

The Learning For Life Partnership

Popular FAQs

Common questions about our mediation and facilitation services, answered by the HR specialists that deliver them.

Do we need to attend facilitation?

Unlike mediation, those involved in a facilitation session would be required to attend and engage in the process. The meeting is led by an appropriate representative of the management team and the facilitator will agree and support the meeting chair with creating meeting objectives, as well as ensure the session remains positive and constructive and is focused on achievement of the desired outcome.

In what circumstances is mediation appropriate?

Mediation can be particularly effective in addressing the wide range of issues that typically arise at work. Some of the issues that are suitable for resolution through mediation include conflict over working practices, conflict resulting from individual behaviour, conflicting perceptions around performance, unfair or unequal treatment, workplace relational issues, and communication issues.

What types of dispute are unsuitable for mediation?

Mediation should not be used to resolve performance management or conduct issues. It should also not be used when the relationship between the two parties is unreconcilable or where the balance of power is likely to affect a fair outcome.

Will you report back to us on how mediation went?

Mediation is confidential, so we won’t be able to give you specific details of how the sessions went with those involved. However, we can advise whether it was a successful or unsuccessful process and work with you to develop an action plan that will help everyone to move forward.

What is the cost?

Once we have taken the background information from you, we will be able give you a quote based on the preparation involved. We typically work on a day rate and these services are normally charged at a day and a half.

Can the parties refuse to engage in mediation/facilitation?

With mediation, both parties have to agree to particulate and can withdraw their consent at any time. Facilitation, on the other hand, is considered a reasonable management instruction, so employees must attend or face the possibility of disciplinary action.

How much time will it take?

You will need to assign one full working day to the process. If more time is needed, you and the mediator/facilitator can schedule another session. In most cases, we will aim for the session to be completed within one day.

Is mediation confidential?

Yes. The mediator will keep confidential everything that is said during the mediation session(s). All parties present are expected to abide by confidentiality and we ask that they complete a confidentiality agreement and bring it with them to the mediation day.The parties will agree what information will be shared to those not involved in mediation session.The mediator will provide information to the referring manager only by agreement from the parties. As a matter of course, the referral source will only be told: a) that mediation took place, and b) whether an agreement was reached.

Who will be present at the mediation session?

One experienced mediator will run the session. The parties involved will be the only people present. This process does not allow lawyers or other representatives to be present.

Explore Our HR Consultancy Services

We do more than just mediation and facilitation...

Consultation Support

Looking to make changes within your organisation? If it will have a fundamental impact on the employment relationship, you have a duty to inform and consult with your employees first.

Whether you’re embarking on large-scale redundancies, considering making changes to employees’ terms and conditions or going through a transfer of ownership, our skilled HR specialists can conduct productive consultations with those affected to help you make informed, commercial decisions.


Find out more

HR Audits

Want to ensure your organisation is compliant with HR best practice and latest employment law developments? Keen to understand your strengths and weaknesses, protect your organisation, and improve the efficiency of your HR system? Then you need a HR audit.

Policies, procedures, practices. Get a systematic health check of how you’re performing from a people management perspective and take your HR function to the next level with support from Ellis Whittam.


Find out more

Investigations, Hearings and Appeals

There are many components to a fair disciplinary or grievance process. If you’re not comfortable conducting investigations, hearings and appeals yourself, or are simply strapped for time, our seasoned HR specialists can offer on-site support to take the pressure off.

We can conduct the meetings for you or, if you prefer, attend them with you to provide expert guidance and reassurance. This is invaluable when experienced, independent HR support is needed.


Find out more

Organisational Design

Got big plans for your organisation over the next 12 months to three years? Then you might need to rethink and right-size your organisation to make sure your structure and skillset aligns with your aims.

If you’re not sure where to start with a task of this scale, our skilled HR Consultants can support you through the reorganisation process and ensure your workforce is set up for future success.


Find out more

Welfare and Medical Capability Meetings

When dealing long-term absence or persistent short-term absences, care must be taken to avoid being found liable for unlawful discrimination.

If you have concerns about an employee’s ability to undertake their role effectively, our seasoned HR Consultants can take care of all formal meetings for you and help you to do the right thing by your people and your business.

Find out more

Google Rating
4.8
Based on 98 reviews

95% Client satisfaction rate - 97% Client retention rate

Experts in Employment Law & HR

Why choose us?

At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.

  • Your own small team of dedicated experts
  • Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
  • Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
  • Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
  • Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500