An employee with many years service decided that he could no longer cope with the demands being placed upon him and was obliged to take sick leave due to a particularly stressful period at work. His relationship with his immediate supervisor had broken down to such an extent that communication between them was practically non-existent.
The employer and employee agreed to endeavour to try and resolve their issues using an agreed mediator. The date for mediation was agreed, the venue agreed and parties met with the mediator individually to outline the issues. The mediator subsequently met with the parties jointly and agreed a schedule of changes to work practices and agreed how additional supports would be available to the employee to do his work. The employee and his immediate supervisor both acknowledged (to each other) that the poor communication between them could not continue and that each of them would take steps to improve the communication e.g. a weekly 15 minute review of how matters were progressing.
A follow up joint meeting was held with the mediator was scheduled for 4 weeks later.