COVID-19 and mediation
In this time of uncertainty, we encourage you to use our phone or video conferencing options. These options are an effective way to help resolve issues in a timely manner. If you are unfamiliar with the use of Zoom or telephone mediation, please let us know and we will help you through the process.
If there is a change to your mediation booking due to changing Alert Levels, we will contact you by phone, email or text, to let you know what this means for you.
Mediations under the RED COVID-19 protection level
Under the Red COVID-19 protection framework setting, the mediation service will offer distance mediation (via Zoom or telephone) as the primary option for attending employment mediation.
If the parties’ strong preference is for in-person mediation, it will be considered on an exceptional basis. The mediation service will work through any in-person exceptions on a case-by-case basis with mediation parties.
In-person mediation requirements
In line with MBIE’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy from 31 January 2022, all parties are required to show a valid My Vaccine Pass before attendance at in-person mediation services. Distance mediation options (videoconference or telephone) will be available if parties are unable to comply with our updated requirements.
Note, there are additional requirements that must be followed during in-person mediation. These include wearing face coverings and mandatory sign-in. For more information see our guidelines:
See also our Early Resolution Service to resolve your workplace issue early, quickly and informally.
Mediations may be offered remotely – by videoconference online or by telephone. Where both parties agree, this way of attending mediation can usually be confirmed sooner.
Please confirm offered dates and provide all the information needed to assess a case quickly. In particular:
- What happened, what you want to achieve from the mediation, whether the respondent has been informed and has agreed to come to mediation, the current state of the relationship
- Whether there are any safety issues or special requirements
You only need to send in supporting information that is directly relevant to the issues.
Before applying for mediation
You should first try to raise your concerns directly with the other party.
If you want to go to mediation but you're not comfortable talking to your employer first (or anyone else in your organisation) because of the type of behaviour (bullying, discrimination or harassment) or person you're complaining about, you'll be able to apply directly for mediation.
If you decide you need mediation, you can use the free Employment Mediation Services.
How to request mediation
In order for us to process your application and avoid any delays, we require you to fill in the below form.
This information is important - It helps us to understand how we can assist you and progress your application through our system.
Once you have completed the form, save the document and then upload with your application form.
Note: This link will take you to the RealMe login page.
Parties should come to mediation prepared to provide an opening statement in summary form, to listen to the other party, to be open-minded on how the matter could be resolved, and to ensure they have authority to resolve the matter.
Refer to our Mediation Workbook for more information:
The mediation meeting
Once we have received your Request for Mediation and supporting documentation, you and the other party will be contacted by one of our Employment Mediation Services staff to find a suitable time and place for a mediation meeting to take place, which may be online.
If you have any special needs at the mediation meeting, such as an interpreter, it is important that you raise these issues when the mediation is being arranged. Please let us know if you have any cultural needs, such as wanting mediation to occur on a marae and we will do our best to accommodate this.
It is important that your mediation meeting is held in a location in which both parties feel comfortable and where confidentiality can be maintained. Venues may include:
- online using a secure platform
- the MBIE mediation offices
- the workplace
- a marae
- a local community venue
- by telephone.
Learn about how to prepare for a mediation meeting.
Don’t stop trying to resolve your problem
If any new relevant information becomes available before the mediation meeting, you should send this to the mediator (eg the employment agreement, time and wage records, any letters, emails and text messages).
While you’re waiting for mediation, we encourage you to keep trying to resolve the problem. If you do come to an agreement before the meeting, you can record the agreement yourself. Once signed by the parties and an Employment Mediation Services mediator, this agreement will have the same status as an agreement reached in a mediation meeting.
If you do reach agreement before the mediation, be sure to let Employment Mediation Services know so that the date they have set aside for you can be made available to others.
How to submit a record of settlement can help you record the agreement yourself.
Tools and Resources
Requesting employment mediation online user guide - PDF 588KB
Step-by-step user guide for requesting employment mediation online.
Mediation workbook: Preparing for mediation - PDF 739KB
A workbook to help you sort your thoughts before mediation.
Using Mediation Services effectively - PDF 1.4MB
A guide to help employers and employees use Employment Mediation Services effectively.
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