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.
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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
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Who you'll be working with
Principal Employment Law Adviser
HR Consultancy Manager
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
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