The number of mediations is on the rise. Expectations are that with the entry into force of the Dutch Work and Job Security Act (Wet werk en zekerheid), parties will increasingly use mediation to resolve conflicts in the workplace without litigation. The purpose of mediation is to help parties resolve disputes themselves, assisted by a neutral third party (the mediator). The mediator does not take decisions but merely facilitates the negotiations between the parties. He or she does so by asking questions and using various communication techniques. Mediation takes place in a confidential setting, allowing the parties to speak freely. What is it they really want and do not want, and what is the most advisable position from a strategic perspective?
No two mediation procedures are the same. All steps to be taken in the process are determined in consultation with the parties at the table. Often the mediator starts off by conducting separate intake interviews with those involved, but this is not a given. Sometimes parties come to the negotiation table by themselves, in other cases they bring along their advisers. The range of possible solutions to be discussed at the mediation table is essentially endless, whether they are arrangements to improve the relationship or arrangements to end it.
Sanne, Mirjam, Inge and Ivo have many years of experience mediating in employment disputes. The cases they handle involve not only “typical” conflicts in the workplace, but also conflicts relating to employee participation, on boards, involving shareholders or in teams. As they are all experienced employment lawyers, they know what is at issue in conflicts of this nature, what parties should expect and where to look for potential solutions. Our mediators take a business approach with a sharp eye for the individuals and their personal interests, but without losing sight of the ultimate objective: resolving the dispute in a way that is acceptable to all those involved.