Our thanks to M&G Investments for their recent support for the CMC (Civil Mediation Council) for our “Bullying and Sexual Harassment: Can Mediation help?” conference as we built on the success of the CMC’s Workplace and Employment group’s “Save Time, Save Money, Save Stress” mediation conferences last year.

Much has been written recently about bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace and what can be done to address it and provide both deterrence and remedy. We see examples in the press of great harm done to both accuser and accused and their employer in cases where the actual rights and wrongs may be much more complicated and less clear-cut than the headlines suggest. Our event showed how often to use mediation as an integrated part of conflict resolution in the best interests of all parties even in these most sensitive and emotionally-charged cases.

The speakers with different perspectives on this high-profile area included Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD; Gareth Jones, M&G Investments; Sam Smethers, The Fawcett Society; Jane Farrell, EW Group; Henicka Uddin, Acas; Hannah Coulson, Calastone; and David Whincup of Squire Patton Boggs. Our thanks to them all for joining us on this journey to provide you with the arguments and strategies in favour of the adoption of mediation in your workplace even where popular opinion around bullying and harassment may suggest less flexibility, and with the confidence to anticipate and address any resistance you may encounter.

Our speakers shared their hands-on experience of applying mediation and similar dispute resolution schemes to bullying and harassment complaints both on a stand-alone basis and as part of formal internal processes. We also have forthcoming events planned in 2018 in Cardiff and Newcastle upon Tyne, so watch this space.