Coronavirus Rules for Face-to-Face Mediations

While the threat of Coronavirus is to a large extent thankfully behind us, all face-to-face meetings will still need to be managed in line with basic good practice and common sense.

If face-to-face meeting is preferred to video conferencing, we shall be happy to arrange this but we will arrange meetings at venues that offer good ventilation and enough space for all parties to work safely. While mediating online has now become extremely popular, face-to-face meetings are still very much in demand.

The Government has relaxed mandatory restrictions and we now focus on the exercise of personal judgement. Spending a day indoors in close contact with people from different households/offices can still carry a small risk of infection in some cases so face-to-face mediation will continue to require the exercise of individual judgement, caution and responsibility. For this reason, we will ask each of the participants to agree to and sign off the following Rules before personal mediations are conducted.

Rules for Face-to-Face Meetings:

  1. All parties should please consider whether their case can be mediated online. Most are suitable for online mediation and there are many advantages.
  2. Where a mediation is to be conducted face-to-face however, each participant (including legal representatives and the Mediator too) should confirm in advance that they have been fully vaccinated and on the day of the mediation and must confirm that they have suffered no Coronavirus symptoms during the previous 72 hours.
  3. Hand-shaking and the wearing of face masks will be at the discretion of participants.
  4. Any participant who tests positive or who suffers any symptoms of Coronavirus in the 72 hours leading up to the mediation, should inform the mediator immediately. It may mean that the mediation will be postponed on safety grounds.
  5. If a participant’s presence is essential to the mediation but he/she cannot satisfy the safety requirements, the Mediator will request that the participant should take part in the mediation by video conference or telephone. If this is not possible then the Mediator will either request a postponement or request that the entire mediation is conducted online.
  6. We will formally advise all parties in advance of any requirements for the venue as to mask wearing, social distancing arrangements, ventilation and other Coronavirus requirements.
  7. Depending on the number of parties proposing to attend, the chosen venue and any specific circumstances of the mediation, participants who are unable to confirm their clear status may not be permitted to take part, other than by video conferencing or by telephone. In the event that the mediation cannot sensibly and reasonably proceed in such circumstances, the Mediator may cancel, postpone or re-schedule the mediation.
  8. Impact Mediation reserves the right to decline to mediate face-to-face where these Rules cannot be maintained. Impact Mediation or its Mediators will have absolute discretion to determine whether any of these Rules should be applied in order to maintain the safety of participants or where it is necessary to reflect any future changes in Government Guidelines.

Please note that Impact Mediation cannot accept any liability arising from infections that may occur during face-to-face mediations. All participants acknowledge that they attend face-to-face mediations at their own risk, particularly where there remains the alternative opportunity to mediate online via Zoom video conference.

If you have any questions about Face-to-Face meetings or using Zoom for your mediation, please get in touch with us by using the contact form below and we will be happy to reassure you on any concerns you may have.

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