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Govt launches mediation pilot

23 January 2012

Govt launches mediation pilot Posted by Editorial team

The government has set up a pilot scheme to offer mediation to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to reduce the number of personnel taking companies to tribunals.

HR Magazine reported on the programme, which it said is being launched in Cambridge and Manchester.

"We have always said that employment tribunals should be a last resort for resolving workplace disputes," employment relations minister Edward Davey told the news provider.

The new scheme offers free mediation services to 24 SMEs in the selected area to try and help firms settle disagreements with those on their payroll outside of court.

Mr Davey argued tribunals are "time-consuming, complex and often stressful" and early intervention can avoid people having to go through this process, but small businesses are less aware of the benefits to both personnel and employers of such approaches.

This is the reason the scheme, which will start later this year and continue for 12 months, is targeting SMEs, he told the publication.

Organisations worried about being accused of unfair dismissal if they get rid of failing staff members were recently told by James Carmody of Reculver Solicitors there are some motivations for sacking employees that are perfectly reasonable.

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