The Mediation clause as a tool of maintaining a balanced relationship between employer and employees and as a tool of Corporate Ethics and Corporate Conscientiousness

A.The Mediation clause as a tool of sustainable maintenance of relationships between employer and employees

The effective approach and arrangement of conflicts within the work-space has been dealt with internationally as a one of the most crucial parameters regarding corporate activity by also preserving in parallel the employees’ rights. Labor dispute resolution in Courts does not necessarily represent the only means of resolution, given that there is an alternative way, extrajudicial in essence, that gradually gives way to the aforementioned and it is called Mediation.

Labor relations have to be updated under the prism of the new data at hand by keeping in mind the clause of Mediation.

By having applied a mechanism in order to settle disputes in an escalated way by introducing the Mediation clause between employer and employees allows parties to seek for an extrajudicial dispute resolution mechanism before actually turning to traditional Justice.

There are plenty of advantages by such a clause in labor agreements, especially if both parts wish to resolve issues emerging outside the judicial system.

A well-formulated mediation clause offers to parties the option of resolving disputes in a less competitive environment, that protects operating work-relations, while at the same time helps them reserve important time and money in comparison to time and cost necessary within the framework of proper judicial dispute.

Such a clause presupposes unique procedures and techniques in order to resolve disputes and their aim is to deal with disagreements immediately once they surface, as well as a mechanism through which the majority of disagreements shall be processed through such a control procedure so as to lead them as early as possible to a dispute resolution process before having them escalated, and which will minimize possible dangers to have labor relations damaged something that might as well occur in case of prolonged judicial confrontation procedures.

The Mediation culture must be fostered even before the signing of agreement, given that the parties who have the right to dispose the agreement’s scope, not only should be able to form the terms of their partnership between them, but they should also predict ways of handling their disagreements and resolving their disputes.

Such a prediction shall nourish the smooth operation of the relationship between the parties even after differences shall have emerged during the time of their partnership. The parties should agree on the way to work with each other as well how to disagree with each other. The Lawyer, as a key figure in the formation of agreement of his/ her assignors has to bring forward the Mediation clause both as a tool of his/ her work, as well as a means to provide services to the end of facilitating his/ her assignor’s/ client’s interests.

The Lawyer has to formulate the proper dispute resolution clause and integrate the Mediation clause to the initial agreement before the emergence of any difference in order to foresee a quick, fruitful and predictable procedure of resolving disputes to his assignor’s/ client’s interest even before the signing of the agreement and before any such disagreement has occurred between the parties.

Mediation as a “reconciliation procedure” of dispute resolution that rise due to the labor relation constitutes a process according to which the approaching of the parties’ opinions is sought for, along with the finding of a solution which shall be founded on the present legal framework and it shall terminate the dispute between the two sides of the labor relation so as to have it smoothly evolve.

Usual differences that may arise due to a work relation and which might be treateable within the framework of Mediation are, among others, the ones about not fulfilling (or not fulfilling on time) the contractual or legal obligations (benefits) of one side to the other (money-wise or else-wise), the ones about the actual implementation of provisions related to legal framework (and most probably to collective and single labour agreements) regarding union operation, other differences in terms of incomplete or inexistent information and debate between employers and union workers’ organizations and even more differences relating to business or regional/ sectoral restructuring.

B.The Mediation Clause as a tool of Corporate Ethics and Corporate Culture in order to sustain a balanced relationship between employer and employees

Corporate (business or managerial) Culture is a system of common values, principles, beliefs, definitions, meanings that compose a common framework of reference which in its turn shapes the way people act when working in a business/ organization both between themselves and as opposed to Managements but also Clients, Associates and other Third Persons.

Corporate Culture practically serves two main functions in a n organization:

  • Bring together members (employees) so as to get to know their relationship to other members, and
  • Help the organization as such to adjust itself to its exterior environment.

Internal integration means that members develop a collective identity and learn how to cooperate effectively. Culture is what underlines everyday work-relationships and defines the way people communicate within the organization, the attitude which is acceptable or inacceptable, and how power and prestige are being distributed.

External integration is about the way the organization as such fulfils its targets and works with third parties. Culture helps guide everyday actions of employess to the end of having certain goals achieved. It may help the organization respond fast to the needs of a client or against a competitor’s actions.

Culture represents a major role in moving from average to top performance. The Culture of an organization guides the decision making of employees when no written rules or policies exist. In other words it is a sum of guiding beliefs, perceptions and ways an organization thinks and to which its members adhere .

Culture represents the unwritten, sentimental piece of an organization which is incremental in order for it to adjust to any given necessary legislation, as well as the Management’s guidance in order to properly handle any (even alleged) differences with employees in order to establish Work Peace and Positive Psychology in a working environment (elements that bring with them growth in productivity) as well as amelioration of the Corporate Image.

Corporate Culture is the mirror of a business given that through this decisions and attitudes of people and teams are defined in terms of everyday practices and consequently of a business’ expectations. So, through Corporate Culture given that all necessary procedures take place and the image is defined and the expectations each business has which is a living organism, common values, beliefs, definitions, concepts, principles, mindsets, perceptions and unwritten rules are defined about how employees think and act towards the employer-business and vice versa.

In essence it constitutes a common to all employees intellectual framework concerning decisions to be taken by people and teams without any space of different interpretations which could effect in an adverse way any business.it constitutes a common intellectual way of arranging things and gives to the members of an organization the sense of a common organizational identity and creates a commitment to all beliefs, values and targets of a business.

Therefore, the fundamental ingredient is that the Management of a Business has made it absolutely clear and knows for sure how it wishes to operate its business, this living organism that every day deals with different employees and what its way of thinking and perception chooses to be, so as to achieve the targets of its business.

Mediation as a structured procedure and already thought for as a clause in the labor agreements, self-evidently proves that the initial ideas and values for a peaceful arrangement of matters between an employer and an employee that in the beginning constituted merely a vision, it is after all possible to be achieved through the institution of Mediation as an applicable (henceforth) philosophy.

According to the aforementioned logic Mediation is establishes in essence as a proof of corporate ethics of the company employer in terms of its internal operation, as long as it gets the chance to prove to its personnel its very own predisposition to maintain ethics  (through procedures of a positive disposition in order to resolve any surfacing differences) by making use of civilized ways of behavior.

Consequently the prediction of a Mediation clause within the labor agreements might as well not just assist to the end of resolving disputes, but it could also and in general promote procedures of consensus and reconciliation (without them bearing the stigma of the employer initiative which could be perceived as allegedly trying to invalidate the employees’ voice) by cultivating a culture that shall finally de-couple the perception of dialogue and the consensual resolution of disputes within the labor field, from an alleged accession of employees to those proposed by the employer (an impression unfortunately cultivated systematically in the Greek labor space !).

 

C. CONCLUSIONS

It is a sine qua non the inclusion of a Mediation clause in all labor agreements.

Every new agreement has to be enriched with a relevant clause and the employee to be informed on the procedure and the benefits of Mediation.

The already existing agreements have to be updated by being enriched with a relative clause.

The employer company has to be operationally able to deal with any labor issue by deploying the tool of Mediation, by having the assistance of an expert Negotiator Lawyer who shall deliver the issue.

Mediation needs to be part of Business Ethics and Corporate Culture and has to be cultivated accordingly in the employees’ mind.

 

Author: Oikonomakis Christos

 

 

Our Offices

OIKONOMAKIS CHRISTOS GLOBAL LAW FIRM is involved in more than 50 Legal Fields and currently operates eight (8) offices in five (5) countries: