Mediation: Mediation and Participants Essay

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SETA survey of representatives in Tribunal cases 2008 t Research Paper
Acas Mediation 2010/11: Responses from participants and es s parti pa ticipants artic commissioners
Ref: 12/11

Acas Research & Evaluation Section

For any further information on this study, or other aspects of the Acas
Research and Evaluation programme, please telephone 020 7210 3673 or email
Acas research publications can be found at ISBN 978-1-908370-08-2

Acas Mediation 2010/11:
Responses from participants and commissioners 1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011

Acas Research & Evaluation Section



Acas carries out a comprehensive review of all of its services in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. This report focuses on the charged-for individual mediation service offered by Acas, where an independent mediator helps to resolve conflicts or disputes between individual workers or between individuals and their line managers. Acas defines mediation as ‘an informal way of resolving disagreements or disputes in the workplace. It can avoid the need to use more formal or legal procedures. It involves a neutral third person working with those in dispute to help them reach an agreement and is a confidential and voluntary process’. Acas sends questionnaires to participants and commissioners of mediation once a case is closed. This report is based on questionnaires received between 1 April
2010 and 31 March 2011. During this period completed questionnaires were received from 165 participants taking part in a total of 119 mediations. The commissioners of 99 mediations during this period also completed questionnaires.



Key Findings
Almost four in five mediations (79 per cent) involved a dispute where one party had authority over the counterparty.
Almost three quarters of participants (73 per cent) felt the Acas mediation had either completely or partly resolved the issue and of these more than eight in ten (82 per cent) were satisfied with the outcome reached.
The majority (59 per cent) of participants felt that the mediation intervention was too late, whilst 41 per cent felt that the timing was about right. No participants felt that the mediation came too early in the process.
Seventy nine per cent of participants were satisfied with the mediation.
As is to be expected, satisfaction was highest amongst participants where the issue was felt to have been resolved.
Eighty nine per cent of commissioners were satisfied overall with the Acas
Individual Mediation service.

Profile of respondents

Two thirds of mediation commissioners (67 per cent) described their role as being an HR or personnel manager, 11% as a general manager and the remainder (21 per cent) answered ‘other’.
Participants were asked whether they were an employee or a manager and the form also includes a number of demographic monitoring questions which were completed, at least in part, in the vast majority (91 per cent) of cases. The following will detail these responses.
The largest group (59 per cent) described themselves as participating in the mediation as an employee, approximately two in five (39 per cent) as a manager and the remainder (six per cent) answered other.


The majority of mediation participants (62 per cent) were female. Ages of participants ranged from 23 to 64 years, the average being 45 years old. More than nine in ten (92 per cent) described their ethnicity as ‘Any White
Background’. Just fewer than one quarter (24 per cent) indicated that they had a long-term illness, health problem or disability. Just fewer than three in five (58 per cent) described their religion as Christian with ‘no religion’ being the second most common response (36 per cent) to this question. Ninety two per cent described themselves as being heterosexual or straight. Because we are unsure of any…