What is Mediation?
The Mediation Option
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving complaints, seeking to arrive at a solution through an agreement between the parties, rather than through an investigation and Decision.
If, on receiving a complaint, it seems to the Tribunal that a case could be resolved by mediation, then the parties will be contacted with an appointment for a mediation meeting. It is not necessary to prepare any legal or factual submissions for the mediation meeting.
An optional Mediation Form, which may be used to signal either consent or objection, is available for download on this page.
Mediation is Private + Voluntary
Mediation will be conducted in private, and will be directly between the parties concerned, with the support of the Mediator, who will act as an independent facilitator. Either party may withdraw from the process at any time by notifying the Mediator in writing that they wish to do so.
If the mediation process results in an agreement acceptable to both parties, the Mediator will draw up a written record of the terms of the settlement for signature by the complainant and respondent. A copy of the mediated settlement will be given to both parties and a copy will be kept in the Equality Tribunal. (Unlike Decisions following investigation, the contents of mediated settlements are not published.)
Once signed, this agreement is legally binding on both parties. A mediation settlement, which has not been complied with, may be enforced through the Circuit Court.
Where Mediation is Unsuccessful
If, during the course of mediation, one party withdraws or the Mediator decides for any other reason that the case cannot be resolved by mediation, s/he will send a notice to that effect to both parties.
If the complainant still wishes to pursue their complaint they must respond to the notice in writing within 28 days or 42 days (for complaints under the Employment Equality Act) seeking a resumption of the Investigation of the complaint. Where such an application is not made within the specified time limit, the Tribunal has no further jurisdiction in the matter and must close the case file.