Mediation Officers are appointed by the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission, with the consent of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, for the purpose of mediating in complaints or disputes with a view to resolving issues without recourse to formal Adjudication proceedings.
Where the Director General forms the opinion that a complaint or dispute may be capable of resolution without being referred to an Adjudication Officer, he/she will refer the complaint or dispute to a mediation officer. Either party to a complaint or dispute may object to it's being handled by mediation, in which case it will be referred to an Adjudication Officer.
Should the option of mediation be accepted, the mediation officer may either convene a 'mediation conference' attended by the parties involved (and held in private), or may use any other means as he/she considers appropriate for the purpose of resolving the dispute including a telephone-based early resolution service.
- Where an attempt at mediation has been successful, the mediation officer will record the terms of the agreement in writing. If each of the parties are satisfied that the record accurately represents the terms of the resolution, they will sign the record. The signed record of the terms of agreement are sent to the Director General, and a copy is provided to each party.
The terms of resolution of a complaint or dispute, recorded in writing and signed by the parties involved, shall be binding on the parties, and if either party contravenes such terms, the contravention will be actionable in a court of competent jurisdiction.
The terms of any resolution of a complaint or dispute shall not be disclosed by the mediation officer or any of the parties in any future proceedings before a court - other than proceedings in respect of a contravention of the terms of the agreement.
- Where an attempt at mediation has proven unsuccessful, the mediation officer will notify the Director General and each of the parties in writing of that fact. On receipt of such notification, the Director General will refer the complaint or dispute for adjudication by an Adjudication Officer.
All communications (including communications during a mediation conference) by a mediation officer with the parties to a complaint or dispute referred to him/her for resolution, and all records or notes will be confidential and will not be disclosed in any proceedings before a court (other than in proceedings in respect of a contravention of the terms of a resolution).