So what should you do if there are unwanted conflicts in the workplace? One highly recommended way to resolve conflicts is through work community mediation provided by an external expert. This method is not used enough in different working environment challenges or personal chemistry problems. Work community mediation is also suitable for dealing with bullying. Work community mediation works best in situations where the parties involved in the conflict both want to settle the matter. In mediation, matters are discussed neutrally and confidentially, with the aim of directing the parties involved in the conflict to a mutually agreeable solution.
However, both the victim and bully are legally obligated to participate in mediation as required by the employer and to contribute to resolving the matter. Refusal may result in labour law sanctions, such as a verbal warning, a written warning or termination of employment. In December 2015, the Helsinki Court of Appeal stated in its judgment (without the force of law) that the worker must participate in measures adopted by the employer, such as work community mediation, aimed at bringing harassment and inappropriate behaviour to an end. In this case, the Court of Appeal found that the employer had had the right to terminate the employee’s contract of employment due to the employee’s refusal to participate in work community mediation.
Work community mediation should be implemented at the early stage of the conflict, even as early as when a co-worker does not say hello.