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The coronavirus has brought about many employment disputes and problems associated with working and managing from home. Some people may unfortunately have been laid off if on temporary contracts or have been made redundant. Employers may not have followed the correct procedures.

Many people will be wondering how to progress their cases with a large number of tribunals closed and people confined to home and unable to meet in person.

The good news is that we can help and here are our top 10 tips:

1. Don’t feel you can only mediate in person. Our mediators are adept at mediating online or by telephone.

2. Online or telephone mediation follows the same process as a workplace mediation meeting, with a joint session if needed and the parties in separate virtual rooms. It is very much like a conference call or webinar that you may be using at work.

3. It is possible to view documents online and to draw up  agreements. As before the coronavirus pandemic people email the crucial documents by secure email before the mediation.

4. Confidentiality is key and parties sign a confidentiality agreement. If there is any indication that confidentiality is not being adhered to the mediator is in charge and can terminate the mediation.

5. It is perhaps a more intense process than mediating in person as the spotlight is on the parties for longer. Feel free to request a break if you need it or need to attend to other demands such as vulnerable people or children at home.

6. If you are at all worried about the technology please request a practice session in advance of the mediation and make your pre mediation call a virtual video conference.

7. Work out what you want to get out of the mediation.

8. Have a back up available so you can use the phone if the video conference facility fails for some reason (it is normally fine)

9. Be prepared to compromise and listen to what the other person has to say. Think about how you could work better as a team going forwards.

10. Don’t worry! You are in safe and experienced hands. The mediator will control the meeting and your main task is to be available. One advantage of online mediation is that it is actually less stressful as you may not want to meet in person anyway given the nature of any dispute and you don’t have to travel. You can mediate from the comfort and safety of your own home!

To organise an online or telephone mediation please get in touch! Any questions we are giving a live webinar every week on Mondays at 10am to answer your queries.