-Mohamed Raaziq, Project Consultant, The Settlement Table and Aishwarya Suresh, 2nd Year LL.B, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Law College, Bangalore.

The Settlement Table
5 min readMay 28, 2021

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms provide for efficient and flexible resolutions for many of the legal disputes including, but not limited to matrimonial issues, consumer disputes, property matters, commercial conflicts etc. ADR mechanisms, primarily Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration etc., are beneficial to the parties, by ensuring speedy resolution of cases as well as, by saving huge legal cost.

Evolution of Workplace:

There were times when the workplace would just be buildings. where the employees had to physically present and start doing their works. Even phones were yet to be introduced.But, later on, when the technology developed, the workplace evolved and the employees’convenience, comfortability, safety, physical as well mental health were given importance, The works were also started being carried out through virtual platforms.

The adaptation of the new technology by the corporates contributed to the overall growth and expansion of the business worldwide. And at the current scenario, where the pandemic hit the whole world, we preferred working from our own place and space, which is commonly called as ‘WORK FROM HOME’at present.

Workplace conflicts:

As workplace evolved, the conflicts in the workplace also evolved, necessitating, appropriate resolution mechanism in place and changes in the employment/HR Policy of a company, to ensure smooth functioning of the organization. Following are some of the workplace conflicts that arise in physical as well as cyber workspace, affecting the organizational growth.


The conflicts in workplace, primarily arise between the employer and the employee; The difference of opinions and the contradicting expressions, coupled with or without miscommunication, lack of accessibility in the organizational structure etc., breaks the smooth relationship and creates enmity. The Superior-Sub ordinate conflicts have an effect on the structure as well as day-to-day functioning of the company when the superior attacks and imposes his/her authority on the sub-ordinates and when the sub-ordinates take it personally.

Such Conflicts between the employers and the employees, equally discourage the employees to join the firm or stay in the firm for a long time, consequentially damaging the company’s reputation,functionality of the company and makes it less attractive for the business.


Where the companies follow preferential treatment/favourism towards certain employees owing to their relationship with the employer etc., it would lead to raging hatredness against the management and disinterest in the work.


Approach towards any gender or any segment of people coming from different backgrounds and with different ideologies, at workplace has to be equal, which would otherwise result in a toxic work environment. Discrimination results in conflicts and such conflicts lead to, resignation of efficient employees, additional cost in recruiting new ones and training them and significant damage of company's’ reputation in the long run.


Now-a-days, psychological harassment and deteriorating mental health of the employees is a growing concern. The work deadlines involving strict time restrictions and the increased volume of work affects physical as well as mental health of the employees, which might sometimes push them to take serious decisions.


Verbal accusations and harassment including spreading of rumors, slandering behind one’s back etc., amongst employees or between employer and employee, which cause serious and unnecessary pressure on the victims, are casually passed off.


Sexual harassment's in workplace are considered to be more serious, which can partake the criminal character.Though the 2013 Act prescribes the constitution of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in the workplace to address and resolve the sexual harassment instances, lack of neutral mechanism and efficient Conciliation committee affects the reputation and market of the Company.

Harassments at Cyber space:

Cyber-bullying and Cyber-stalking are intensifying especially during ‘Work from home’ scenarios. These harassments happen through offensive messages/ threats vide mobile phones, emails, social media accounts, abusive posts/comments on social media etc., and are often not addressed, unlike harassment in the physical workplace.

Not all cases are being reported, owing to the fear of individual’s reputational damage, fear of getting punished by the employers, if the employers themselves demand sexual flavors and anonymity of the abusers.


Miscommunication intensifies the above stated differences and conflicts and deliberate miscommunications will result in losing,not only the employees, but also the company’s valuable clients, its investors and its shareholders.

Alternative Disputes Resolution to rectify such Workplace conflicts and Employment disputes

ADR techniques primarily, Mediation and Conciliation offer better venues to resolve the above mentioned workplace disputes. While arbitration clauses in the employment contracts provide for resolution of disputes in relation to termination or other working conditions, that would arise between the employer and the employee, mediation and conciliation offer for more flexible approach in resolving the disputes. Workplace disputes and conflicts unlike other kinds of disputes, often cause indirect consequences, and incur additional efforts to address them, in an appropriate manner.

Though there are substantial impacts on the company’s reputation and operations, not all companies provide for an appropriate resolution mechanism in their Policies. The internal conflicts in any organization have to be monitored and it is necessary that the organizational structure should be established in a manner, providing for more accessibility in the hierarchy.

Mediation and Conciliation, are informal mechanisms where in a third party(ies) (Mediator/Conciliator) hears the parties and facilitate amicable settlement of disputes. Majority of the workplace disputes (except sexual harassment) are less serious in nature and are capable of resolving, when the parties are brought to the settlement table. The flexibility of the mediation and conciliation proceedings allowing parties to communicate freely, in a confidential manner, to the Mediator/Conciliator (even without disclosing them to the other party in the proceedings), permits the parties to resolve their internal workplace conflicts smoothly and in no time.

The proceedings in fact, eases the parties’ emotions and facilitate the parties in understanding each other’s position, interest and perspectives, thereby providing for constructive communication and strengthening of parties’ relationships. The Mediator/Conciliator(s) can even be chosen from the internal community, however the employer/employee who has been chosen to act so, should ensure that he/she behaves in a neutral manner, while attempting to resolve the disputes. The process would also be effective to cure the communication gaps and accessibility issues in the hierarchy.

Moreso, in the virtual world, it is also possible to resolve such conflicts through Online Mediation/Conciliation (ODR- Online Dispute Resolution), facilitating resolutions in convenient manner.

ADR/ODR IS BENEFICIAL for the companies in many other ways as follows.

Ø Cost incurred is less. If the company adopts the Court proceedings, charges are comparatively higher than ADR.

Ø Lesser time is taken by the parties to resolve the issue.

Ø Finality of Settlements entered into by the Parties, preventing appeals and challenges

Ø Comfortably and Convenience- The parties can resolve the conflicts by virtual sessions taken up at their place of comfort.

Ø Unbiased and reliable-No bias in approach, as the interests of both the parties are considered and decisions are made thereafter.

Ø Confidentiality of the Parties is safeguarded, thereby saving their privacy and reputation.

Thus, ADR/ODR provides for effective resolution mechanisms preserving company’s reputation, legal cost, time as well as organizational.workers’ health and productivity.

‘The Settlement Table’ offers a wide variety of services to resolve your disputes online with the help of the Expert Panel. To know more about how to resolve your legal disputes online, book a free appointment by, signing up in or writing to



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