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Mediation

Mediation (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Page Updated: 19th July 2022

University College Dublin is committed to the promotion of an environment which fosters mutual respect and understanding between individuals and its constituent communities. This page provides a brief description of mediation and an overview of the steps involved in iniating the process for employees, managers or students.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a framework for resolving conflict in an informal manner which is impartial and objective, and aims to resolve conflict at the earliest opportunity. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process that allows two or more disputing parties to resolve their conflict in a mutually agreeable way with the help of a neutral third party, a mediator. 

When is it useful?

Mediation may be useful in circumstances such as:

  • Interpersonal differences, conflicts, and difficulties in working together
  • Breakdown in a working relationship

Mediation can be used at any stage in a dispute but is often most effective if used early on in the dispute. The mediator does not tell the parties what to do but rather acts as a facilitator to the process.

Requesting Mediation

Below you will find a brief overview of the process for initiating mediation. This is a summary and the Mediation Procedure remains the definitive source of information on the process.

Mediation is a voluntary process and both parties must agree to engage.

Employee initiated mediation

  • To request mediation, you must contact you line manager (or next level up if the issue is with your ine manager) to discuss mediation as a means of resolving the issues.
  • The line manager must be satisfied that all local level options have been exhausted in the first instance (see the Dignity & Respect website for a variety of informal options).
  • If the line manager feels that mediation is an option to be explored, they will advise you to contact the EDI Unit for a briefing on mediation so you can obtain further information about the process.
  • Following the briefing, if you wish to proceed with mediation, your line manager should contact should contact the other party to ascertain if they are willing to consider engaging in mediation.
  • If both parties agree to mediation, the “Request to Enter into Mediation” form must be completed by your manager and sent to edi@ucd.ie.
  • On receipt of the completed form, the EDI manager will contact the line manager(s) to comfirm that all local level interventions have been attempted before organising the mediation process with an external mediator.

Manager initiated mediation

Mediation may alternatively be instigated by the line manager as a means of resolving issues or restoring the professional relationship between two individuals.

Formal complaints

In the case of a formal complaint, both parties to the complaint must attend a mandatory briefing on the mediation process provided by the EDI Unit. However, the decision remains with the parties as to whether they agree to enter into the process due to its voluntary nature.

Mediation is a voluntary process and both parties must agree to engage.

Student initiated mediation

  • To engage in the mediation process with another student or employee, you should discuss the situation with your Student Adviser in the first instance.
  • If the issue is of a dignity and respect nature then you will be referred to the Dignity & Respect Support Service where you will be advised of the various options open to you for resolution, including mediation.
  • If appropriate, you will be advised to request a briefing on the mediation process from the EDI Unit (edi@ucd.ie).
  • If both parties agree to mediation, the EDI Unit will arrange for the mediation process to commence, mediation cannot take place unless both parties agree.

 Formal complaints

  • In the case of a formal complaint, both parties to the complaint must attend a mandatory briefing on the mediation process provided by the EDI Unit. However, the decision remains with the parties as to whether they agree to enter into the process due to its voluntary nature.

The following principles apply to the mediation process:

  • Mediation is a confidential process.
  • The mediator is impartial and does not take sides.
  • It is solution focused - the object of the exercise is to reach a workable and mutually agreeable solution to the conflict or issue of difference.
  • It is a voluntary process - all parties have the right to withdraw at any time.
  • Mediation is not a form of adjudication, arbitration or conciliation.
  • Attending mediation does not preclude any other form of dispute resolution.

For further information on mediation please contact edi@ucd.ie.

Forms

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie