COLIN STEWART ROBERTSON MBA – MRICS – MCIArb COVID-19 UPDATE – OCTOBER 2020
Accredited Mediator www.csraccreditedmediator.uk
Leeds North Yorkshire West Yorkshire North of England UK
FACE TO FACE (F2F) WORKPLACE & COMMUNITY/NEIGHBOUR MEDIATIONS ARE NOW BEING OFFERED BY THIS PRACTICE TO A FULL DISTANCING (3M), HYGIENE/VENTILATION STANDARDS PROTOCOL EITHER IN AN INDOOR OR EXTERNAL VENUE.
The F2F mediation format is still the ‘gold standard’ for obtaining the best results, particularly in Workplace and Community/Neighbour disputes. Whilst remote mediation is undoubtedly here to stay, particularly for Commercial disputes, the demand for F2F quite rightly continues. Accordingly, following the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent UK Lockdown the Government has now from 4 July 2020 authorised the opening of hotels that abide by the recommended distancing and hygiene standards. Prior to this the distancing recommendation was 2m. From this date, the distancing requirements have been left to establishments to adopt the most appropriate ranging from 2m, 1m, screens or PPE. For the purposes of mediation it is not necessary to lower the original 2m distancing recommendation. On the contrary, to ensure the best option we have increased the government recommended 2m by 50% and adopted a 3m (9feet 10inches) distancing protocol between all parties. This protocol has been adapted through discussions with a hotel near Leeds (other locations pending) allowing us to offer both an external venue (weather permitting) and a large internal space with direct access to the outside ensuring a constant ventilation supply of fresh air rather than recirculated air. This along with the 3m distancing (inside or out) and easily removed disposable coverings to chairs and tables ensures that the hotel can maintain these standards economically. This satisfies the three recommendations of distance (exceeded by 50%), hygiene and fresh air ventilation. Finally, this removes the need for face coverings (once seated) during the meeting, but protective gloves/hand sanitisers are still recommended. Conditions will apply before the mediation can proceed on the day.
Successful examples of these F2F mediations have been successfully carried out (including in-house for clients who have had the space, facilities and hygiene arrangements to offer their staff the F2F workplace option) to higher standards than the recommended government office standard.
If you wish to discuss how this could be implemented at our hotel venue* or in your workplace (subject to protocol requirements), then please contact;
Colin Stewart Robertson – Accredited Mediator
The author has been involved in conflict resolution and negotiation for over 45 years; an involvement in mediation for 20 years and an Accredited Mediator since 2012. If you wish to discuss your own workplace dispute then see www.csraccreditedmediator.uk for further details and contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0113-284-2859. *subject to any subsequent local or national lockdowns.
© Colin Stewart Robertson – Accredited Mediator 2009 - 2020
(Last updated 21 October 2020)