· News

Civil Mediation Council gives thumbs-up to Government's proposals to change workplace dispute resolution

The Civil Mediation Council has endorsed the minister for employment relations, Edward Davey’s plans to change Britain's approach towards resolving disputes at work.

In a meeting between the Minister and members of the Civil Mediation Council's Workplace Committee, chaired by Clive Lewis and comprising representatives from the private mediation sector, The CIPD)and the employment relations experts Acas, proposals to promote workplace mediation as an alternative to the current litigious route were discussed.

The Government's proposals include the setting up of a sector-specific pathfinder project in the retail sector, and the setting up of two regional pilot schemes intended to encourage use of mediation amongst small businesses.

It is clear that mediation presents a less costly, less stressful and more empowering way of tackling workplace disputes and the CMC are pleased that the Government share this view.

Paul Randolph, chairman of the communications committee of the Civil Mediation Council, said: "It is most encouraging to see the Government adopting such a pro-active approach to promoting the increased use of mediation in workplace disputes. We also warmly welcome the fact that the Government clearly looks to the CMC as a valuable partner in this initiative, working together to ensure that mediation becomes a recognised part of any process to resolve workplace and employment disputes. ".

Andrew Wareing; national operations director in Acas, was equally supportive: "Resolving disputes through discussion and agreement rather than confrontation is at the heart of Acas's ethos. We are delighted that Mr Davey, is making such a strong commitment to promoting the mediation approach to workplace disputes. We look forward to working with the private mediation industry to support the implementation of the government's proposals."

These talks follow less than a month after publication of the report on the consultation Resolving Workplace Disputes and demonstrate the Government's commitment to changing the face of dispute resolution in Britain's workplaces.