ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
ADR OFFERS AN EFFECTIVE, COST-SAVING RANGE OF RESOLUTION PROCESSES - MEDIATION, CONCILIATION, AND ARBITRATION - WHICH PROVIDE TIME AND COST-SAVING ALTERNATIVES TO EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL. UNLIKE COURT PROCEEDINGS, ADR IS ENTIRELY CONFIDENTIAL. ADR IS LEGALLY-RECOGNISED AND THE GOVERNMENT WEBSITE LISTS IT AS A DISPUTE RESOLUTION OPTION TO BE CONSIDERED BEFORE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
ADR REQUIRES VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION FROM BOTH PARTIES.
Mediation is an informal process and is ideal where the worker wishes to remain in employment. It can be utilised before or after grievances/disciplinaries have been completed. Mediation is not legally binding.
In mediation, we facilitate the structured, constructive presentation of employer and worker's views in a dispute, which are shared in joint discussion and confidentially in separate discussions. We do not make decisions but guide the process to help the parties reach their own resolutions. Mediation is the most popular form of ADR, with an 85% success rate of resolutions being reached on the day or shortly afterwards.
Conciliation is a more formal process than mediation, and can be used in disputes that could potentially result in an Employment Tribunal claim. Conciliation is not legally binding.
In conciliation, we facilitate the joint discussion of the employer and worker's views, without any separate discussions. We then make a settlement proposal to the parties which they have the option of accepting instead of undertaking a legal process.
Arbitration is a formal process conducted under the Arbitration Act 1996. This can be undertaken for serious disputes which are likely to result in an Employment Tribunal claim. Arbitration is therefore an alternative to going to court.
In arbitration, the employer and worker agree for us to make a final decision upon hearing evidence presented either entirely in writing or combined with a hearing. The decision will be made by 28 days.
Both parties must agree for our decision to be legally-binding, in which case our decision will be final and conclusive. If the parties do not agree to this, either can pursue the matter at Employment Tribunal. If the parties agree to the decision being legally-binding, appeals are generally not permissible except in limited circumstances. However, if a party breaches a legally-binding decision, they can be pursued through court proceedings.
While ACAS does offer an arbitration service, it can only be used for straightforward unfair dismissal cases. Our service can be used for a wide range of cases, both simple and complex.
THE BENEFITS OF ADR ARE MULTI-FOLD
With ADR, the employer and worker are in control. You choose the method of ADR and when it takes place, allowing you far greater control than if you were
resolving matters through the courts.
ADR is a relatively simple process. For example, Employment Tribunal proceedings entail strict and often complex legal processes. ADR processes can be handled flexibly and do not require adherence to rigid protocols.
With our ADR service, legal representation for either party is not necessary. You can be confident that all our decisions will be balanced, reasonable and based on our extensive, wide-ranging experience in employment litigation. We are also subject to all relevant professional standards and codes of practice.
As such, there is no need for the employer or worker to incur
expensive solicitors' fees or unnecessary court costs.
ADR proceedings can be planned at your convenience, avoiding lengthy delays and dates set by the court which are arranged outside of your control. Resolutions are often achieved on the day or within 7-14 days and no longer than 28 days.
The details and outcome of the ADR proceedings are private, kept from public record, helping to preserve the reputations of all involved.