workplace mediation services

Our Mediation Services

Business and government use mediation and advocacy (non-legal resolution) to resolve economically an outcome quickly. You can too! Through our mediation and representation in the workplace, individuals keep control of their outcomes with creative and flexible solutions.

We always counsel clients to attempt to resolve disputes, if required we take the matter to the Fair Work Australia, or the relevant equal opportunity or anti-discrimination tribunal. If litigation in the courts is required, we will refer you to the appropriate expert lawyer, (we are not lawyers) who will give value for money.

 Disputes that can be solved through A Whole New Approach Pty Ltd mediation services include:

  • All Workplace issues (Commission and tribunal systems)
  • Fairwork Australia (FWA)
  • Discrimination (HREOC, EOC)
  • Work cover(up to mediation only)
  • VCAT
  • Redundancy
  • Disputes

A Tailored Approach

We understand that every case of workplace discrimination is unique, and so is our approach to each one. Our mediation services are designed to provide a safe, neutral space where both parties can voice their concerns and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution. Our experienced mediators facilitate these conversations with the utmost respect for confidentiality and impartiality, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued.

How We Make a Difference

  • Expertise and Experience: Our team of mediators is not only skilled in conflict resolution but also deeply knowledgeable about your rights as an employee.
  • Customised Solutions: We strive to find solutions that acknowledge your specific circumstances and work towards restoring a sense of dignity and respect.

Why Choose AWNA for Mediation?

Proven Success –  Our history of successfully mediating workplace disputes speaks volumes. Employees Advocate – We only work with employees. Accessibility – We ensure our services are accessible to all, regardless of their location in Australia.

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Advantages of Mediation

  • non-adversarial – win-win solutions, non-legal approach.
  • quicker, cheaper, more fair, more satisfactory, more stable outcomes
  • the relative informality of procedure reduces polarity of positions
  • allows disputes to be re-examined, re-framed
  • flexible process – tailored to the needs of players eliminates the problem of proponent involvement threatening the legitimacy of the decision
  • conflict avoidance and containment
  • good decisions
  • fair/equitable decisions – all parties act in good faith
  • you are in control of the process, instead of a judge telling you how it going to be

Ring us today about how we can provide mediation services on your behalf, it costs you nothing to find out if we can help you and stay (if possible) out of the court systems.

How does Mediation work?

Mediation can be either voluntary or compulsory, informal, and confidential process. A workplace mediator (an unbiased third party) assists the parties in reaching a voluntary agreement before begins investigating the complaint. The mediation can be held in the workplace or a neutral venue.

Why Should Parties Agree To Mediate?

Mediation is an efficient process that saves time and money. A successful mediation avoids time-consuming investigation, expensive litigation, and achieves a prompt resolution of the complaint.

Does Mediation Cost Money?

Yes, it does, call us to discuss. The decision to mediate is voluntary for both parties and they may terminate their participation at any point.

What is The Role of a Mediator?

The mediator is there to help the parties reach a resolution of their industrial relations or discrimination dispute. The mediator is not there to decide whether the allegations contained in the complaint did or did not occur. The mediator serves as a neutral facilitator and does not represent either side nor does the mediator provide legal advice.

How Long Does a Mediation Session Last?

The length of the session varies, but participants are asked to commit at least 3 hours.

Is Mediation a Legal Proceeding?

Mediation is not a legal proceeding. The mediator does not provide legal advice or legal counsel. When a party agrees to mediation, it is not a waiver of the right to proceed with the informal investigation of the allegations in the complaint.

What Happens During a Typical Mediation Conference?

The mediator will work with the parties to design the best format for the parties. It could be that the interests of the parties are best served by conducting the mediation through a series of phone calls or it could be that in-person mediation is the better option. Regardless of the format, if you have specific needs for mediation, including reasonable accommodations, please consult with the assigned mediator.

During typical in-person mediation, the mediator may begin with an opening statement about how the mediation conference will be conducted. Then the charging party will be given an opportunity to explain his or her grounds for the complaint and the type of remedy that is requested. Then the respondent will be given an opportunity to respond to the charging party’s statements. Meeting together or separately, the mediator will then ask questions and attempt to clarify each party’s position. Ultimately, the goal of the mediator is to assist the parties’ discussion of a mutually satisfactory resolution.

What Can a Charging Party Ask for and What Can a Respondent Offer in Order to Achieve Resolution?

The terms of resolution offer an excellent opportunity for the parties to reach common ground. It could be that the parties agree to some sort of monetary amount in order to reach a resolution. This money could be for back pay, front pay, and/or emotional distress. That said, there are a variety of non-monetary terms that may prove useful in reaching a resolution. For example, a party may simply want recognition of being wronged or a neutral reference. A charging party may want or a respondent may offer to change existing policies or to train staff on the topic of discrimination. In the employment setting, if it is feasible for the employer, a charging party may request reassignment or reinstatement, or perhaps additional training.

If both parties keep an open mind and are prepared to discuss a variety of options, this increases the odds of a satisfactory resolution.

May Representatives or support people attend Mediation?

Either party may bring to the mediation conference a representative or legal counsel (subject to negotiated agreements for bargaining unit employees) and should inform the mediator about a representative in advance.

What Happens if Agreement Occurs?

If a settlement is reached, the mediator will draft a voluntary resolution agreement acceptable to all parties and, if present, their representatives. Each party should have full authority to settle at the mediation conference, however, in limited circumstances, appropriate management or legal personnel often review and approve the terms before they are effective. A signed agreement is legally binding on the parties.

What Aspects of Mediation are Confidential?

Matters discussed in private with the mediator are kept confidential and will not be disclosed without permission. Mediators are bound by law not to disclose this information voluntarily. Few rare exceptions to this rule exist, e.g., if you say that you committed a criminal offense or act of fraud, waste, or abuse, or you plan to commit a violent physical act, the mediator may have to share this information with appropriate authorities.

Mediation sessions are neither tape-recorded nor transcribed; after the session, notes and document copies are destroyed.

Interesting article

16 June 2010 | by The New Lawyer

THOSE embroiled in a legal action will now have to make all efforts to resolve disputes before heading to court, thanks to legislation introduced today.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has introduced legislation requiring people to take genuine steps to resolve their legal disputes before going to court in a bid to improve access to justice.

“Access to justice is not just about access to a court or a lawyer, it is about providing practical, affordable and easily understood information and options to help people prevent or resolve their disputes,” McClelland said.

The Civil Dispute Resolution Bill 2010 will require prospective litigants to lodge a statement with the court detailing what steps they have taken to resolve their dispute or, if they haven’t, the reasons why.

The statement will also provide additional information that the court can consider when making orders and directions under its existing case management and costs powers.

According to the new legislation, genuine steps to resolve a dispute include exchanging information between parties to more clearly identify the issues in dispute or considering possible resolution through mediation or conciliation.

Litigants can also send a notice of dispute outlining the issues and referencing relevant information or agree to participate in negotiations when initiating legal proceedings.

“These requirements will promote a move away from the adversarial culture of litigation by encouraging parties and lawyers to consider early options for resolution outside of the courts before significant costs are incurred,” McClelland said today.

The Bill implements key recommendations of the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC) and complements the active case management powers introduced in the Federal Court last year to promote the timely, inexpensive and efficient resolution of disputes, the Attorney said in a statement today.

The measures are in keeping with the federal government’s “Strategic Framework for Access to Justice” targeting better access to justice.

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