Frequently Asked Questions

To view an answer, simply click on the relevant question.

If your question has not been answered, please feel free to contact us and one of our staff will be happy to assist.

Why choose us?

We are the only National mediation company that you can rely on to provide a consistent service that will support both the employee and employer to get the best results.

I want to complain about a colleague, can it remain anonymous?

It depends on your workplace policies and procedures. Usually it is obvious who the complaint is from. Further, not disclosing the complainant can have the unintended impact of receiving mischievous complaints, encourage a complaint culture and create suspicion in the workplace which can be the source of stress and anxiety. We recommend that the complainant names are disclosed (where this is consistent with your internal policies) and the complaint transparent to the respondent (person complained about) unless there is a threat to the safety (well being) of those complaining and or the incidents are very serious. There are other measures you can take to protect employees safety where this is raised as an issue.

How do I choose a support person?

A support person should be chosen based on their capacity to follow the process (keep confidentiality and allow you to speak) and whether or not they are able to assist. Think to yourself – ‘will this person assist us get an agreement or will this person be a barrier to getting agreement?’. If it is the later, choose someone else or alternatively, have them available by telephone if you need to break, you can call them.

What is a Workplace Mediation?

Workplace mediation is where an accredited mediator facilitates a conversation between two or more employees.

Can a support person advocate (speak) for me?

Generally no, unless special circumstances exist, negotiate with your mediator. They can ask questions about the process and we can stop the mediation for a break if you need to consult with them.

Can I make an employee participate in a mediation?

You can ask employees to attend a mediation. If an employee refuses, you must assess the reason for their non-participation. If you think it is unreasonable, and they persist to refuse, then you can initiate a more formal process to manage the issues at hand, such as performance management.

Can support people attend mediation?

Yes but it is not recommended unless there are special circumstances requiring their attendance. Negotiate this with the mediator. This is because mediation is an informal attempt at de-escalating and resolving the conflict. Adding extra people has the impact of making matters escalate (at times). And, in addition to this, the intention is that you are working toward working together and that third party won’t be in the workplace with you. If you want to bring one the support person must not be a direct report or a team member. The support person ideally is someone external to the organisation such as; a family member, friend, advocate, union representative, counselor. The other participant must also agree to their attendance.

Do I have to attend a workplace mediation?

No. However, if you refuse to work with a person or a team and you refuse mediation, then the only other option available to the employer may be disciplinary action or performance management.

Hiring a workplace mediator can be expensive?

Managing an escalating claim is more expensive. Using a trained mediator is an investment with immediate and long term benefits, call us to find out why (or google ‘the cost of conflict in the workplace’ and compare for yourself).

How do I choose a mediator?

Ask them, what Accreditation do they have, how many workplace mediations have they done, what support can the employer expect from the Mediator, whether they are familiar with the industrial relations laws that apply to your Company, what process they use, and what outcomes you can expect, and then choose a Mediator that you think best suits your Company.

When do you offer mediation to employees?

You can have a mediation at any time. For example; you can have a workplace mediation prior to initiating a formal complaint or you can have a workplace mediation after a formal intervention (such as an investigation). You can also have mediation where you just want the employees to have a trained facilitator to help them remain focused and achieve outcomes.

Why do I need a qualified experienced facilitator? – can’t anyone mediate?

No. Untrained people can at best; unintentionally escalate the matter and / or become embroiled in the conflict, and at worst put staff at risk, themselves at risk of a claim, attract a complaint by one or both parties against them.

You have been asked to attend an interview for an investigation what happens next?

You will be contacted directly by the investigator to arrange an interview. The investigator will discuss the date, time and location of the interview and will be able to give you an estimate of how long the interview will take.

Normally, the interview will be done during work time.

Can I bring a support person to the investigation interview?

Generally you can, but check your policies and procedures.

Your support person can be a friend, relative, work colleague, union representative or legal representative. If your support person is a work colleague, it is preferable that he/she be someone who has not had any involvement with the matters that are under investigation as this person may be required as a witness.

Your support person can give you advice and support during the interview, can ask general process and clarification questions but should not answer questions for you.

If possible, please let the investigator know who your support person is.

If you need a translator or assistance for the interview, please let the investigator know as soon as possible

Do you have to answer the questions in the investigation interview?

No, you do not have to answer the investigator’s questions. However, you should remember that the interview is your chance to tell your side of the story and if the investigator asks you a question it is because the investigator believes the answer might be important to the investigation.

Do you have to attend the investigation interview?

You have been asked to attend an interview because it is thought that you may have information which is important to the investigation.

If you choose not to attend an interview the investigator will make findings based on the available evidence.

How long will the investigation interview take?

Many factors can impact on the time taken to complete an investigation. For example;

There may be a considerable number of interviews and parties may be difficult to contact
The investigator may need to travel to different locations to interview parties
Additional allegations or counter allegations may be raised during the investigation

Ask your interviewer for an approximate time frame.

What happens after the investigation interview?

Once all the interviews are completed, the investigator will prepare and finalise the investigation report. The finished investigation report will be given to the decision maker (usually the employer).

What happens during the investigation interview?

The interview is conducted by the investigator. The interview is your opportunity to present your side of the story and to give the investigator information you believe is relevant to the matters under investigation. Usually interviews are audio recorded. You can ask for a copy of the transcript.

What should I bring to the investigation interview?

It is not necessary for you to bring anything to the interview. However, if you have any documentation or other material (that you entitled to have) which you think may be relevant to the investigation such as; diary notes, emails, photos, footage, facebook print outs, text messages or any other relevant documentation, you can bring this to your interview.

If there is a document or other material that is not in your possession and which you think may be relevant to the investigation, you can give details to the investigator during the interview. The investigator will make arrangements to obtain that material if required.

Will I be allowed a copy of the investigation report?

No, unless the employer is legally compelled to release the report to you. The report belongs to the employer. Generally, you will not be advised of the outcome of the investigation as this information is confidential. Once you have attended your interview it is unlikely that you will hear anything further in relation to the matter. However, some workplaces do provide you with a short summary as long as it does not contravene a person’s privacy rights.

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