HR Dispute Resolution

HR Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution means many things to many people.  Effectively, it refers to the broad range of dispute resolution mechanisms (short of legal proceedings) that are applied to resolve disputes.  ADR has been used effectively in the employment relationship for many years.  It is particularly suited to the employment context, mainly due to the ongoing nature of the relationship between the parties to a dispute.

Employment disputes generally arise from Grievances, Disciplinary issues (work performance, behaviour, etc.) and Dignity at Work.  Grievances that are not addressed or resolved promptly and effectively can fester, resulting in significant costs to employers.  These costs are direct financial costs (e.g. legal costs, tribunal or court awards, production down-time), less obvious financial costs such as a reduction in productivity, poor morale, staff turnover, replacement costs, etc.

Early intervention that is appropriate to the situation can avoid or at least minimise conflict and cost.  At Talbot Pierce Consulting we have significant expertise and an excellent track record in alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

The Talbot Pierce ADR Team all trained with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and are certified MII Mediators.

The following are the main types of ADR mechanisms.


Like mediation, conciliation is a voluntary, flexible, confidential, and interest-based process. The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party.  The key difference between this and mediation is that the Facilitator participates in a more active way in the exploration of solutions.


Mediation is an informal, but structured settlement procedure. A mediator is engaged to facilitate and assist parties in reaching an amicable dispute settlement.  The main characteristics of mediation are that it provides a voluntary, non-binding, confidential and interest-based procedure. Parties are free to terminate mediation at any time after the first meeting. No decision can be imposed on the parties involved, and they may or may not agree upon a negotiated settlement. The confidentiality principle assures that any options the parties discuss will not have consequences beyond the mediation process. Interest-based procedure means that the criteria established to reach resolution does not solely adhere to the law, instead it can include considerations concerning financial, business and personal interests as well.

The role of the mediator is to assist the parties in reaching a negotiated agreement. Unlike an arbitrator, the mediator is not a decision-maker. In a facilitative mediation, the mediator merely assists the parties in their communication and negotiations.  The key difference between this and conciliation is that in conciliation, the facilitator participates in the process in a more active way in attempting to reach solutions.


Difficulties often arise on issues or between people in situations which often have not yet been called a ‘dispute’ or ‘complaint’.  All the parties need is a forum in which they feel ‘safe’, where they are not on their own with the other party, but do not want to be ‘represented’ or formally accompanied by anyone.  This is particularly the case where the people concerned do not want the matter escalated.  This type of situation can be assisted greatly with the attendance of a facilitator.  The role of the facilitator is to be the independent and objective third-person in the room to provide comfort, security, be a sounding-board and to interject to keep ‘order’ if necessary.

Please contact us to discuss what we can do for you: or (01) 902 00 31.