New Zealand Law Society - Mediation pilots aim to improve scheduling

Mediation pilots aim to improve scheduling

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MBIE's Employment Services has commenced two pilot projects aimed at improving the scheduling of mediations.

MBIE says late cancellations of mediations reduce its ability to offer early dates to parties for mediation. The pilots follow investigation of the various options for improving matters.

Both pilots began on 16 July 2018 and will run for three months. If successful, they will be rolled out to all regions.

Standby list

This pilot will be trialled by MBIE's Auckland and Christchurch-based teams. It will target those applicants who are able to attend mediation at short notice, replacing any cancelled mediation time.

Parties will be asked to indicate if they are interested in going on the Standby List. Those who agree will be offered an earlier date, with all parties needing to agree. MBIE will also assess the case to ensure it meets the criteria.

Active follow-up

This pilot will be trialled in the Hamilton and Wellington-based teams. It will undertake more proactive contact with parties to confirm if mediation is likely to proceed.

MBIE will actively follow-up parties where it feels negotiations may settle prior to mediation, or one of the parties may not appear fully committed to attend the mediation.

If an earlier indication that a mediation date is not required is obtained, this will enable MBIE to offer the earlier dates to others.