The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
Before the mediation session it is a good idea to prepare yourself by understanding what to expect on the day.
Be prepared to attend the mediation in person, even if you will have legal or other representation with you.
Prepare a short statement that outlines the key issues in dispute. Don’t get caught up in the minor issues.
Think about the outcome you would like to achieve.
Determine whether there are other options that you would be prepared to consider.
Know your bottom line; what can you realistically afford or accept?
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Disputes are rarely black or white so you will need to be objective about your claims.
Consider what the other party might want from the mediation. Would you be prepared to compromise to reach an agreement?
Be prepared to act in good faith during the mediation. This will require you to listen to the other party’s version of events with an open mind.
You may want to consider having a support person to attend the mediation session or be available by telephone.
You can have legal or professional representation during the mediation; however this is not a requirement. If you do have representation, make sure that they are familiar with your case and that you can afford their charge to attend.
You should bring all your supporting documentation to the mediation. If you have additional documents, other than those already provided to the SBDC, and you plan to refer to these at the mediation session, please provide copies to the SBDC mediation coordinator before your session.
If you require a translator to assist you during the mediation session you must advise the mediation coordinator or your case manager at least five business days before your booking so they can arrange for this service. A translator is provided at no cost to you.
On the day of mediation, allow at least three to four hours for the session. In some cases, mediation may take longer so factor this into your planning.
Dress in neat business attire and arrive at least 15 minutes before the session is due to begin.
The mediation session may follow a format, which can change depending on the mediator and the needs of the disputing parties.
Typically the format includes:
If an agreement is reached, a mediation outcomes document is drafted. It is then considered and signed by all parties. This is the end of the mediation process. The parties are expected to comply with the terms of the agreement. It is important to know that the signed mediation outcomes agreement is a binding document and can be legally enforced.
If an agreement is not reached, the parties may apply to an appropriate court or tribunal for a formal determination to be made.
If the dispute is related to a retail shop lease, either party may refer the matter the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). You will need to obtain a certificate from the Small Business Commissioner (available upon request) and include this with your SAT application.
At the end of the mediation session you will be asked to complete a feedback form. This information is essential in helping us to improve our services.
You may also be surveyed on behalf of the State Government, which heavily subsidises our mediation service. This survey is conducted annually by an independent third party and uses a random sample of mediation participants.
If you need further assistance contact our mediation coordinator on 13 12 49.