Conciliators are senior staff at the Commission who help employers and employees resolve disagreements.
Conciliators have training and experience in workplace relations and the law concerning dismissal. They are independent and neutral.
Conciliators don't 'take sides'. Their role is to help the employer and employee resolve the dispute. They will discuss the important issues but their main focus is on helping both sides agree on a settlement. This can mean that conciliators need to move the conversation from 'what happened?' to 'how can you resolve this?'
Their job is to:
- lead the discussion and guide the employer and the employee through the process
- ensure conversations remain polite
- guide the conversation if it is not helping reach an agreement
- briefly explore and discuss the issues involved
- help the employer and employee reach an agreement or resolution
- challenge what the parties say, such as when it doesn't seem correct or relevant (we call this a 'reality test')
- comment on possible outcomes.
The conciliator does not:
- give legal advice to either the employer or the employee
- represent either side
- favour one side over the other
- decide what happened or judge the facts of the case
- decide who is right or wrong
- recommend an outcome.
If the employer and employee agree to settle their dispute, the case will end.