ACAS has published a discussion paper on the merits of Alternative Dispute Resolution
(ADR). ADR is becoming more popular as a result of pressure from policy makers
and practitioners and the increasing time and costs associated with tribunal
ADR is the collective term, which refers to a number of processes such as
mediation, conciliation and collective mediation whereby parties try to reach
an agreed solution through the assistance of a neutral third party, but crucially,
both parties retain ultimate control of the process. One of the main advantages
of ADR is that it is more likely to enable the employment relationship to be
continued in contrast to the adversarial nature of tribunal proceedings.
Although extensive use of ADR will require a fundamental change in culture
for business and practitioners alike, it does have the potential, used appropriately,
to reach a faster, less expensive conclusion that may also contribute to improved
employee relations in the future.