Difference between Mediation and Arbitration

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Unit Code: BSBHRM510A
Unit Name: Manage Mediation Processes

Assignment 1

1. What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Arbitration is a legal practice for the resolution of disputes between parties which a neutral third party uses evidence presented to decide on a resolution which the disputant parties are bound to. Mediation is a process where by two or more parties voluntarily agrees to participate and present their case to a neutral third party (the mediator). The mediator is present to support the participants to reach own decision, they also assist in identifying core issues, developing options, consideration of alternates to help the disputants make decisions about future actions and outcomes. Mediation does not necessarily come to a final decision/outcome.

2. Does your company/business/organisation have a policy in relation to dealing with conflict and mediation? If YES, please review the document and provide a copy. Do you believe the document is sufficient, comprehensive and appropriate? Justify your answer. What suggestions or recommendations for improvements could you make?

Yes, the organisation I am employed by has a Grievance Handling Procedure. Please see attached document: EPPG9 – Grievance Handling Procedure.

Reading over the policy document I believe it has been developed with thorough considerations to Fair Work Best Practices Guide. It has been written in a clear and concise manner, providing a well-defined definition of a grievance, explaining various degrees of possible grievances. It provides employees with a high level overview of the procedures involved related to grievance handling within the workplace, detailing steps that should be considered. I believe the policy gives an employee the flexibility and security to deal with the matter directly with the person/s involved or seek support and guidance from a Manager and or HR representative. I feel the policy is written to gain the best outcome for parties involved, offering support and professional counseling to either party, should they feel additional stress from the grievance situation.

A few recommendations to improve the policy document could be: * The inclusion of a Flow chart within the document to assist people that respond better to visual aids and diagrams, to explain the process step by step. * Within the policy there is no mention of sourcing an external mediator. The use of a trained external mediator could provide greater confidence in the process for parties involved, particularly if the matter is of unusual circumstances. * The policy could be more consultative, by developing a policy for an employee that receives a complaint from another, detailing their responsibility and options available to proactively address the matter. * The detail within the policy to appeal the outcome/decision is very limited. This may give individuals the impression that the appeal process is a simple procedure to consider, if the original outcome was not the ideal result.

3. How does your company/business/organisation deal with workplace conflict? Compare and contrast what the policy is, to what actually takes place. What improvements to the policy need to be undertaken?

According to the policy, an employee should attempt to resolve the matter directly with the person/s involved. I don’t believe that this procedure (option 1) would be formally followed because if the matter was resolved within the 2 parties concerned, then there would be no need to establish it into a formal grievance case.

If the issue cannot be resolved within the two employees, the policy gives the options to either notify a HR representative or contact your Manger and/or Director. I believe the policy should instruct an employee to firstly contact their Manager. The Manager would most likely have knowledge of the issue locally and with their existing working relationships and expertise, may be...
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