Your question answered: Refusing to attend mediation

By Jeff Salton on March 12th, 2018
  1. Performance Management
  2. Misconduct

If we require two employees to attend a mediation session to resolve their long-term workplace conflict, can their attendance be enforced? If they refuse to participate, could we discipline them or issue a warning, as the direction to attend was reasonable management action?


If the direction to attend mediation is lawful and reasonable, you may have grounds for taking disciplinary action if an employee fails to attend.

You would need to be able to establish that you have a genuine need in making the direction to the employees.

However, you should carefully consider the circumstances of the conflict and the reasons an employee may not want to attend mediation.

Forcing an employee to attend mediation in some circumstances will be unreasonable, and making threats that an employee will face disciplinary action for failing to attend could expose you to a victimisation or adverse action claim.

If you’d like more information regarding this issue, subscribe to the Employment Law Practical Handbook. Subscribers can get answers to questions (just like this one) from employment law experts at Holding Redlich through the free Helpdesk service.

It’s just one of the major benefits of being a subscriber. Join today.

Related Articles: