Arbitration and mediation in the workplace

The markets have become increasingly competitive and more than ever. The existence of good working relationship between employers and employees has become of paramount importance. Arbitration involves an impartial person to be in the middle making firm decisions considering points of view of the two sides. Mediation involves the mediator discussing with both sides, mainly separately and helps the two reach a compromise (Nidirect, 2012). This paper discusses arbitration and mediation in the workplace by examining the case an employee of Barclays bank flouting the smoking regulation on the workplace.

An employee was previously dismissed but, a person gets the workplace back after arbitration and mediation. It was argued that even if the non-smoking policy existed, it was not clear what the consequences were (Martin, 2010). In this case, arbitration is seen to offer justice in an easier-quicker way and avoiding the costs of seeking solutions externally as in courts. The arbitral awards are becoming more and more enforceable.  However, the awards may not be directly enforceable without involving the courts. A threat to this method is that the arbitrator and mediator could be compromised if he wants repeat business.

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The author recommended a stepwise discipline package for dispute resolution in the workplace. The first step is to give a piece of advice for the employees not to perform unsatisfactorily so  they will understand what results of their job are expected from them .The second  step  is keeping a record of the counseling sessions for future reference. The third step involves giving the employees a chance to show willingness to change. The fourth stage is an action stage where the employer may dismiss the employee if it is justifiable enough. These measures proposed by Martin are certainly appropriate for contemporary organizations. They are both preventive and curative moreover, save time and resources.

Arbitration and mediation are preferred by many organizations these days owing to their many advantages when compared to judicial measures. However, when carried out without  care professionalism and good faith may leave the organization at the receiving end of several disadvantages. An organization should find out how to balance arbitration and mediation with judicial proceedings so as to achieve appropriate discipline in the workforce.

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