Arra HRD Ltd provides a mediation service.
Michael O’Sullivan is a trained mediator and holds a Diploma in Mediation and Conflict Intervention. He has certified member status with The Mediators Institute of Ireland.
What is Mediation?
In mediation an independent third party (the mediator) helps parties with a dispute to try to reach an agreement. The parties with the dispute decide whether and how they can resolve matters and what the outcome should be. Mediation provides a confidential and safe environment for the parties to air their issues and concerns with the other party at first hand and to hear the complaints, issues and concerns that are being made against them. The content of the mediation is confidential to the parties and the Mediator and will only be shared with a third party with the expressed permission of all parties except where natural disclosure would occur. The parties and the Mediator agree the terms of the mediation at the outset of the mediation which are referred to as ground rules.
Mediation ideally takes place at a neutral venue. It usually involves face to face meeting between the parties in dispute with the Mediator acting as a Facilitator to the process. In some situations the mediation will involve the parties being in separate rooms and the mediator will move from room to room and facilitate movement towards agreement in that manner.
The structure around the mediation meeting involves a number of stages;
Firstly it is necessary to work out what the issues are. This is done by the mediator finding out from both parties what are the important issues that need to be dealt with.
Having established the issues from each party’s perspective the mediator then works with the parties to consider options and explore all the choices available and open to each party. It will be in the hands of the parties to determine what choices might work for them and the mediator will support the parties as they seek to find common ground.
An agreement can then be worked out with the mediator ensuring that the party’s are both clear about what they have agreed to and in this regard a document may be written up by the mediator and if necessary or desirable the party’s can have their solicitors make it legally binding.
The outcome of mediation is not pre-determined but some possible conclusions include an apology, an explanation, a change of behaviour by one or other or both parties, a promise to do or to avoid doing something, an agreement to return to work, compensation and so forth. Mediation is a non-binding process. This means that an agreement made is not legally binding but you can as previously stated have any agreement made legally binding by your solicitor. In any case, many agreements work without recourse to legal steps and indeed mediation has a good track record when it comes to agreements being kept.
If no agreement is reached in mediation then parties are free to pursue an alternative dispute resolution process or to take their dispute to a legal process. The mediation process itself is confidential and meetings are without prejudice which means that anything said cannot subsequently used in a court or other proceedings.