New encouragement for workplace mediation in London

It’s great to see mediation being explicitly promoted to London’s employers in a new scheme to improve people’s working lives in the Capital.

Launched on 29 July 2019, the ‘Good Work Standard’ (GWS) is a joint initiative between the Mayor of London, leading employers, trades unions and professional bodies, notably the CIPD. It provides a series of benchmarks and an accreditation scheme to encourage good employment practices in organisations of all sizes.

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Image of musiciansAs part of the Mayor’s ‘mission to make London the best city in the world in which to work’, the scheme is intended to help accredited employers attract and retain talent, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.

The GWS has four ‘pillars’ covering: fair pay and contracts, workplace wellbeing, skills and progression, and diversity and recruitment. Employers can work towards three levels of compliance -foundation, achievement and excellence.

How does conflict management fit in?

 Mediation is included as an indicator of good practice on safeguarding staff wellbeing. To reach the second level of compliance, employers will need to show that ‘appropriate conflict resolution and mediation methods have been implemented and communicated’ to their workforce (criterion A4.5). It sits alongside several other criteria which aim to encourage open dialogue in the workplace.

This part of the GWS also encourages organisations to have a staff health and wellbeing strategy in place (A5.2). To reach the standard of ‘excellence’ this will need to encompass ‘a mental health wellbeing/ stress prevention strategy’ (E5.2).

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The importance of leaders having skills to prevent and manage conflict is recognised too in the skills and progression pillar. For an employer to be rated ‘excellent’, its managers and supervisors will need to be ‘trained or knowledgeable in managing conflict or difficult conversations or can help workers to access support’ (E7.2).

How achievable are the standards?

The GWS looks to be structured to be relevant to employers of all sizes across the sectors. Helpfully, as well as setting standards it provides support from the CIPD and others – some still in development – to help employers achieve them.

The accreditation scheme also dovetails with other workplace accreditations including the London Living Wage and London Healthy Workplace Award.

Further information:

Please get in touch if our mediation expertise can help you provide good quality work in London.

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