Opinion

ACAS offers a guiding light

ACAS, the Government's arbitration service, and the TUC have produced a new guide entitled " Mediation: A guide for trade union representatives" that aims to raise awareness amongst trade union representatives of the benefits of mediation.

As any rich lawyer - or poor litigant - will tell you, taking a dispute to law isn't cheap. Mediation, on the other hand, is much faster, less stressful and far less expensive than going through the courts.

The guide details how mediation can complement trade union representation, rather than replace or undermine it, and it highlights the benefits of mediation, including confidentiality, the avoidance of unnecessary grievance procedures and tribunal claims, the opportunity to maintain the employment relationship and the flexibility of outcomes when mediation is used. 

The guide also sets out several circumstances where mediation may help, such as relationship breakdown or personality clashes, perceived bullying and harassment or discrimination issues, situations where managers may not be well placed to tackle an issue due to perceived bias, or where negotiations between unions and management have broken down.

This was first published in February 2011

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