Recommend Family Mediation to Reduce Work Place Absence

Posted on 5th October 2011

Family mediation is a way of resolving issues that arise when a relationship breaks down. This can be a relationship between a husband and wife, couples who were never married or wider family members. The key element is that the relationship has broken down and there is a parting of the ways. The process is voluntary and confidential. Usually mediation takes place with those participating being in the same room. Mediation gives people a chance to explain what their concerns and needs are to each other and for a qualified family mediator to enable them to listen to each other, here what each other is saying, take on board the concerns and try and work together to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

A mediator is not a judge and cannot impose a solution. The mediator’s skills are to provide a mutual, safe process for people to reach their own agreement and avoid future conflict. Mediation particularly works best in relation to sorting out money issues upon separation including income capital, liabilities and pensions but also works well to sort out arrangements in relation to children.

Work Place Absence

When employees go through relationship breakdown the impact of the emotional acrimony can cause stress and lead to work place absence. This can range from being emotionally absent and unable to fully engage in the working day to taking time off work. The advantages of mediation are that it offers people a safe and mutual environment to be heard and understood. In mediation people are responsible for the terms of their own agreement and they feel much invested both emotionally and in terms of the time they put into it and in the outcome reached.

Mediation is also far less costly than court proceedings as the only money spent on lawyers is the cost of drafting up the agreement reached.

Research shows that mediation produces a far better result emotionally for families. Particularly in families where there are children. Parents are helped to move towards a good working relationship in their new roles as co-parents rather than focusing on the bitterness and acrimony that may have caused the relationship to break down in the first place.

The current government is strongly supporting mediation. New rules that came into force on the 6th April 2011 provide that anyone setting out to contest the terms of their separation in court should consider mediation first. Although this is not compulsory most applications for family matters including divorce, contact and finances involve a mediation awareness session initially.

The Minister for Justice has stated “mediation is a quicker, cheaper more amicable alternative, particularly where children are concerned. The new rules mean that everyone now has the opportunity to see if mediation could be a better solution than going straight to court”.

The Ministry for Justice says that research shows that mediation can cost a quarter of the price and the quarter of time of going to court. It says that the date from legal aid cases shows the average cost per client is £535 compare to £2,823 and that the average time for a mediator case to be completed is 110 days compared t0 435 days for non mediated cases.

Mary Raymont of Brachers is qualified to conduct a mediation awareness session for couples to consider mediation prior to issuing their application. Mary Raymont has a family mediation practice located at Brachers and promotes families voluntarily attending mediation to discuss issues arising in relation to finances and children.