Conciliation is an informal, voluntary and private discussion. We may hold a mediation after we receive an application to stop bullying. It helps parties identify issues and resolve a bullying dispute together.
On this page:
When conciliation may happen
After a worker applies for an order to stop bullying and we receive responses from the other parties, we consider the information. If we think conciliation may help resolve the issue, we organise a joint discussion.
We give the date and time of the conciliation to:
- the applicant
- the employer (or principal)
- any ‘person(s) named’ in the application as someone who has allegedly engaged in bullying
- any lawyer or paid agent.
A trained conciliator will help you and the other parties resolve the issue together. Conciliator are independent and do not take sides.
If the conciliation does not resolve the issue, you can ask for the case to go to a conference or hearing.
What to expect in conciliation
Conciliators manage the process. Their role is to help overcome disagreements and keep discussions focused on resolving issues.
Conciliation sessions vary, but usually work like this:
- The conciliator explains their role and how the mediation session will run.
- Each side outlines their story, including:
- what happened
- any relevant facts
- how they think the case could be resolved.
- The conciliator may ask questions and speak with the parties.
- The conciliator will try to help you reach an agreement. To do this, they identify common ground and may offer guidance.
- If you reach an agreement, the conciliator helps you record the agreement in writing.
Benefits of conciliation
Conciliation is a good way to resolve an issue as it:
- provides an informal, voluntary, private and confidential way to stop bullying at work
- can help the parties to return to a good working relationship
- is quicker than a formal conference or hearing
- helps the parties feel more in control
- avoids the need for a formal conference or hearing.
Possible outcomes of conciliation
Another benefit of conciliation is that the solutions are flexible and relevant to your situation. The parties can choose to resolve a case in any way they think will help resume a good working relationship.
Note: the Commission does not promote or recommend resolutions that involve payments.
Ask to change the time or date
You can ask to change the time or date of the conciliation discussion by contacting us in writing. You need an important reason to 'adjourn' to a different day or time.
You must send a copy of any request to the other people ('parties') in the case. We may give a copy of your request to the other parties and will consider their views before we decide.
We may not agree to your request.