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Legal Updates

Regional Mediation Networks Pilot Scheme for SMEs

24 January 2012 #Employment

The Employment Relations Minister, Edward Davey, has this week announced a pilot scheme for two regional mediation networks, in Cambridge and Manchester, to be set up for small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs"). 

As part of this scheme, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills ("BIS"), will fund mediation training for employees from 24 SMEs in each pilot area,  as well as provide mediation to other network organisations, which may assist in resolving workplace disputes early without the need for an employment tribunal claim.  This pilot scheme follows on from the Governments response to the Resolving Workplace Disputes consultation and forms part of its refom of the employment tribunal system.

Edward Davey said "We have always said that employment tribunals should be a last resort for reolving workplace disputes.....We want to help employers and employees to help themselves.  In particular, our consultation showed that SMEs are often not aware of the benefits that mediation can bring for both parties.  This pilot will directly target this group, help to raise awareness of the benefits and reduce the burden on the tribunal system."

The two regional mediation networks will initially be piloted for 12 months and, if successful, may be rolled out to other areas across the UK.  

Forbury Business Club ("FBC") has been established by Clarkslegal to encourage and support new enterprise.  Visit for more information. 


Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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