Conciliation As A Method Of Resolving Workplace Disputes

Posted By on Jan 29, 2016 |

I n every workplace various disputes can arise from time to time, and they can be more or less serious. The parties involved in a dispute can be different, depending on the size of the company – there are disputes between the employer and an employee or a group of employees, between an employer and a trade union, or between the members of a group of employees.

When there is an issue in the workplace, there are several ways to resolve it, no matter who are the parties involved. The main methods of resolving a dispute in the workplace are mediation, conciliation and arbitration, and in this article we will deal with conciliation.

Conciliation is similar to mediation: both of these methods require hiring an expert as an intermediary in order to resolve a dispute between two parties. But there are certain differences between the two concepts. Mediation is generally used to help resolving more general problems, whereas conciliation is concerned with legal disputes. Another difference is that a mediator often suggests his or her own solutions to the problem, while a reconciliation serves to encourage the parties in the dispute to come to the solution themselves.

A conciliator is a trained expert who is expected to talk the issues through with both sides involved and to explain to them all the legal issues they may encounter. During the conciliation process, the conciliator may follow the specific stages of the process, but it is usually more characteristic for mediation. The conciliation resembles more the traditional negotiation, and the conciliator is more passive in this process than the mediator is in the process of mediation. The conciliator is also required to look at all the opportunities for successfully resolving the case and help the sides under dispute make a legally binding agreement suitable for both, while he or she advises them to get to the optimal solution themselves rather than offering his or her own.

Before taking conciliation as the dispute resolving method, both sides need to agree to it and sign an agreement which makes conciliation legally binding. When a dispute arises, conciliation is a good way of resolving it without taking the case to a court or a tribunal. The conciliator is neutral and independent; he or she has nothing to gain from the dispute so he or she does not take anyone’s side. Also, the discussions between the two parties and the conciliator are strictly confidential and safe. Conciliation helps both parties understand the issues better and offers solutions they reach themselves, which improves chances of both parties being satisfied with the final decision.

Conciliation can be observed more as prevention, since the conciliator is hired when the dispute is in its early phase. If the case is more complicated, more serious or for some other reason impossible to be resolved by hiring a conciliator, the parties under dispute can turn to some other possible solutions – such as taking the case to a court or a tribunal. In case you find yourself in similar situation, feel free to visit for more information and legal advice


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