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Supporting Dignity at Work with mediation

28 May 2019

Gemma Dale, University HR Policy and Engagement Manager, explains why mediation can be an effective option for addressing workplace problems

Dignity at Work

At the University, we are continuously striving to ensure we work in an environment in which bullying, harassment and discrimination are not tolerated.  

We have recently updated our Dignity at Work and Study (DaW) Policy and strengthened the services that help people take informal and formal action.  

Harassment Support Advisors are available to provide information and advice on the policy and we have increased the number of trained mediators available to support staff and students resolve conflict informally. 

What is mediation?

Mediation offers the opportunity for staff and students to ‘talk first’ to trained mediators and resolve conflict informally. It helps to encourage communication and establish long term, sustainable relationships, offering support to staff who need to have constructive conversations that might be too difficult to have alone. A mediation session involves exploring everyone’s issues and concerns, and employing problem-solving tactics to find solutions that will help people move forward with improved workplace relationships. 

Gemma Dale, University HR Policy and Engagement Manager, who co-ordinates the mediation service says: “We have always encouraged people to take an informal route to solving problems at work where they feel that they can.  Mediation is flexible and often quicker than formal processes. By helping staff to find solutions to address underlying causes of concern that may have been impacting them for some time, workplace stress can be significantly reduced.”

Our mediators 

  • The University’s internal volunteer mediation team has been supporting staff and students to resolve conflict for several years
  • All volunteers are fully qualified and undertake an accredited training programme to enable them to carry out internal mediations
  • Our mediators work in pairs to ensure that there is a breadth of skills and experience available in every mediation session

Mediation isn’t compulsory, and there are some types of work related problems that aren’t suitable for mediation – our mediators are trained to understand this. Colleagues will always have the option to raise workplace concerns through other methods such as the Dignity at Work Procedure.  

Don't be a bystander, call it out and report it.

If you or someone you know has experienced any form of harassment, discrimination or bullying you can report it anonymously or report it and get support from one of the University’s Harassment Support Advisors.  

For more information, visit: