Flies, flies and more flies

Many people who are engaged in some form of dispute keep a record of events. In some cases, by the time parties have agreed to meet and mediate, a tree load of paperwork has been generated. In one case I recall a mediator telling me that he had looked through 17 A4 lever arch files of information – from one party. Anyway, the aspect that is always amazing is that when settlement is reached, there is no longer any use for these files. Most parties want nothing to do with them as they will only serve as a reminder of the painful experience that they have been through. They just want them disposed of.

I remember listening to someone tell me a story about a person who held on to carrier bags of files at the start of a mediation session. By mid morning they had put many of them on the floor. At the end of the successful session with tears in their eyes they said to the mediator “what should I do with all these files now?”

It is a testament of the power of dialogue that years of documentation can be discarded at the end of a one day mediation session.

With the huge amount of change taking place across the country right now, it strikes me that facilitated dialogue at an early stage could prevent the need for record keeping that consumes large amounts of time, energy and effort.

If there ever was a time when the business case for mediation or facilitated discussions needed little explanation, I think we might just be experiencing it. Recently, the new government that has announced it is ‘committed to mediation’. This is good news, but it will take time to filter through.

2009/10 Employment Tribunal Statistics

Here are some of the findings from the latest tribunal statistics of 2009-10:

  • Between 2008-09 and 2009-10 there was a 56% rise in claims to Employment Tribunals.
  • There was a 17% increase in the number of tribunal claims associated with unfair dismissal, breach of contract and redundancy.
  • At 31 March 2010, the caseload outstanding was 628,800, with three fifths of this being for multiple claims to the Employment Tribunals.
  • The 75% target was not met against a climate of increasing workloads.
  • 71 % of customers said that they were satisfied with the overall service from the Tribunals Service

Click here to visit the Tribunals website for more information