can arise anywhere and time, and their resolution may vary depending on their
severity. In a workplace, for example, dealing with disputes can be
particularly challenging since it’s not always possible to satisfy everyone
when facing a dispute in a work environment, two primary methods for resolution
come into play: mediation and arbitration. This blog post will delve into
arbitration and mediation processes, analysing their respective pros and cons.
What Is Arbitration?
of the most common methods of resolving work disputes is arbitration.
Arbitration, as a dispute resolution mechanism, can be seen as a situation
whereby two parties in dispute have their differences resolved outside the
court of law, usually by an impartial third party known as an arbitrator.
an arbitrator does is very simple. For a start, they will first hear both sides
of the dispute, then review all the evidence before making a final, binding
decision, known as an arbitral award. It has to be noted that the arbitrator’s
decision is usually legally binding, i.e., it can be enforced in court.
court of law can appoint an arbitrator, provided that the parties involved in
the dispute apply to the court to do so. And to answer the question of who can
act as an arbitrator, anyone can be appointed as an arbitrator as long as they
are impartial or unrelated to the disputing parties.
The Arbitration Process
- Agreement to Arbitrate: The arbitration
process typically begins when both parties agree to submit their dispute
to arbitration. This can be done through a pre-dispute or post-dispute
- Selecting an arbitrator: After both
agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration, the next step is to select an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators
based on their expertise and neutrality. If, for whatever reason, the disputing parties cannot agree on an arbitrator,
then the next line of action would be to apply to the court of law in
their jurisdiction for the appointment of an arbitrator.
- Presentation of
arguments and relevant evidence: Once the
arbitrator has been appointed, the next action would be to commence the
hearing process. At this junction, both parties will logically present their
arguments and present relevant evidence and
witnesses to back up their arguments.
- Arbitration hearing
and final evaluation: After the parties involved have made their
arguments, the next thing would be for the arbitrator to evaluate the case
and issue a final decision, the arbitral award, which is legally binding
on the parties involved.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Arbitration in Resolving
like every dispute resolution process, arbitration has pros and cons. In this
blog section, we will look at some of them.
Advantages of arbitration
- It makes dispute resolution faster: Unlike traditional
court litigation, resolving disputes via arbitration has proven to be
faster. This helps save time for both parties.
- Privacy: Another important aspect of arbitration is
the privacy that it brings. Since the arbitration process
is usually confidential, sensitive employment issues will not be exposed
- Expertise: In deciding the arbitrator, the parties
choose the arbitrator they like. That is, they
get to choose an arbitrator with expertise in employment law.
- The arbitration
process is less formal: Another important advantage of arbitration
is that it is less formal than traditional court proceedings.
Disadvantages of arbitration
- Concerned parties
have limited appeals: Generally, arbitral awards have limited
grounds for appeal, potentially leaving parties dissatisfied with the
- It is very expensive: While the process
may be faster, it can still be expensive compared to other alternative
dispute resolution methods.
- Inability to challenge decisions: Since the arbitral
award is usually legally binding, unsatisfied parties may not be able to
challenge the decision.
What is Mediation?
they are both similar in structure, mediation and arbitration are different.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third
party, known as the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between
the conflicting parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
process differs from arbitration because, in mediation, a mediator does not
seek to make a decision or impose a solution. Instead, they assist the
conflicting parties in understanding each other’s perspectives and interests,
finding common ground, and reaching a voluntary agreement.
the outcome of every mediation process is not legally binding. The disputing
parties may or may not agree with the final resolution.
we have said earlier, mediation and arbitration don’t resolve disputes the same
way; they share the same structure. So, in this section, we will briefly
examine the process involved in every mediation process.
- Agreement to mediate: The mediation
process typically starts with both parties agreeing to mediate their
dispute voluntarily or through a contractual obligation.
- Presentation of arguments: After the parties
have agreed to mediate their dispute, the next thing would be for the
mediator to set up a mediation session where each party presents their
side of the dispute and discusses their concerns.
- Final evaluation: After they have
presented their arguments, the next thing would be for the mediator to
work with the evidence presented to identify areas of agreement,
facilitate communication, and explore potential solutions. Ultimately, the parties will be encouraged to negotiate until
they arrive at a resolution acceptable to all involved.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Mediation Process in
Resolving Employment Disputes
Advantages of mediation
- The process is very flexible: One of the big
advantages of mediation is that it allows for creative solutions.
- The outcome is
non-binding: As we said earlier, the outcome of every mediation process
is non-binding. The disputing parties have
control over the outcome and can choose not to agree if the terms are not
- It helps to preserve working relationships. Since mediation
focuses on collaboration rather than adversarial positions, the process greatly helps preserve working relationships.
- It is less
expensive: Unlike arbitration or traditional litigation, mediation is
Disadvantages of mediation
- No Guaranteed Outcome: The fact that
mediation is not legally binding means that the resolution of the dispute
is firmly in the hands of the parties. Only
they can decide if they want to resolve the issue, not the mediator.
- Potential Power
Imbalance: If there is a significant power imbalance between the
parties, one side may feel pressured to agree to terms they are not
entirely comfortable with.
arbitration and mediation offer alternative ways to resolve employment
disputes, and the choice between the two depends solely on the preferences and
circumstances of the parties involved.
if you ever need the service of a qualified and experienced employment attorney
for proper guidance, don’t hesitate to contact Stevens and Company Law Corporation today!