Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Informal non-adversarial way of sorting out disagreements or disputes through a mutually agreeable course of action.


What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal, non-adversarial way of sorting out disagreements or disputes.

An Industrial Relations Commissioner will meet with the employer/s and employee/s in disagreement and work with them to reach an agreement to settle their differences.


What kind of problems can mediation help with?

Mediation can help resolve any question, dispute (or potential dispute) or difficulty between employers and employees.

This can include poor performance as well as any matter relating to the dismissal of an employee or a refusal or failure to allow an employee a benefit under a contract of employment.


Facilities available at the Commission.

Mediation can be held at the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which has conference rooms, meeting rooms, telephone conferencing and video links.

It can also be held at any place the employer/s and employee/s agree is suitable, providing that sufficient meeting rooms and resources are available.


How to request mediation.

An employee, a group of employees, an employer, a group of employers or an organisation of employees or employers may make a request for mediation of an employment dispute by completing a request Form M1 and either lodging it at the address below. Available here.

Registry Department,
Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission,
Level 17, 111 St Georges Terrace,
Perth, 6000.

There is no fee for filing the form. Informal requests can be made by contacting the Commission online or by telephone, facsimile, email or letter.


Key features & benefits.

Voluntary – Each employer and employee involved (or likely to be involved) in the employment dispute must consent to the Commission acting as mediator. You only take part if you want to and you can withdraw at any time.

Free – Mediation is free.

Fast – Mediation is speedy.

Successful resolution of dispute – Mediation tends to have high success rates.

Control by the parties – The employer/s and employee/s themselves control the outcomes.

Impartial – The Commissioner who acts as your mediator will not take sides, make any judgment or require you to do anything.

Recommendations – If the employer/s and employee/s request, the Commissioner may make recommendations about aspects of the employment dispute.

Confidential – Mediation is held in private and the Commission may give directions as to persons who may be present. No evidence or matters contained in documents lodged with the Commission may be published or disclosed unless the Commission makes an order.

Settlement – If the employer/s and employee/s consent, their agreement may be registered under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 and it may be enforced as if it were an industrial agreement registered under that Act.


Why choose mediation?

The Commission is a suitable environment for discussion by the employer/s and employee/s.

It avoids the time and expense of instituting and being involved in legal proceedings.

You have the opportunity of putting your own position to an impartial third party (the Commissioner).

Dialogue can resume where direct negotiations have broken down.

Talking through and explaining why positions are held can cause perspectives to change.

The mediation process is a way of improving understanding of each other's positions.

It can be helpful if a third party (the Commissioner) provides a review of the positions taken.

Employers and employees can explore the consequences of not being able to agree.

Mediation is a forum for expressing new ideas to resolve a deadlock and for exploring ideas that have been rejected without detailed consideration in direct negotiations.

Mediation can repair relationships and build trust.

Any settlement will be on terms agreed by the employer/s and employee/s, and is not imposed by the Commission.


What will the mediator do?

The Commissioner conducting the mediation will talk through the issues to see if a solution can be found, engaging employer/s and employee/s in effective dialogue and discussion of possible solutions.

The Commissioner may hold meetings with the employer/s and employee/s together, or with each person separately, to discuss issues to find out about the situation and each person’s position. It may be necessary for the Commissioner to meet with the employer/s and employee/s separately before convening any meetings with them.

Each person will have an opportunity to speak and say how he/she feels without being interrupted, and will be able to ask questions and respond to what the other has said.

Each person can indicate his/her preferred outcomes and have the opportunity to express his/her interests.

Time out will be given during the mediation if people need to consider proposals or obtain information.

The Commissioner will ask questions to establish all relevant facts, help you look at the situation realistically, identify the real issues in contention and assist you to come up with solutions to settle the dispute.

The Commissioner will not take sides or judge who is right or wrong, will not have power to compel a person to do anything, to arbitrate the employment dispute, to otherwise determine the rights and obligations of employers or employees or make a decision in relation to the employment dispute. Any agreement must be acceptable to all.


Can a group of employees or employers be represented?

Yes, a group may appoint a person to represent it.


Is what is said in a mediation proceeding private?

Yes, mediation is held in private and the Commissioner may give directions about persons who may be present during the mediation or referral proceeding.


What happens if a settlement is reached?

If an agreement is reached, the Commissioner (if everyone agrees) may register the agreement as a mediation settlement agreement, which is binding on all the parties and may be enforced as if it was an industrial agreement under the Industrial Relations Act 1979.

However, such an agreement cannot vary the operation of an existing award, order or industrial agreement.




Contact the Commission to find out more about our services.

Read more on the background

Our Services

Information about the different ways we can help.

Read more about our services


Download our brochure or
you can search our forms.

If it is urgent call us on (08) 9420 4444 or
1800 624 263 (tollfree) and we will complete the paperwork over the telephone.

Contact us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263
Free Fax : 1800 804 987

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You are here: Home > Services > Mediation By Consent