Agreement to Conciliate
This agreement is between
Talk – Meet – Resolve’s Conciliator
ACC and [Claimant Name] (referred to below as “we” and “us”) agree to enter into conciliation.
1. Appointment of Conciliator
We agree that the Talk – Meet – Resolve Conciliator has been appointed to conciliate our dispute. This agreement sets out the process and conduct of the conciliation.
2. Good faith and cooperation
We agree to conciliate in good faith. We agree to cooperate with the Conciliator and to be honest with each other and the Conciliator. We agree that the following can be placed on ACC’s file:
(a) This signed “Agreement to Conciliate”.
(b) Any signed “Resolution Agreement”.
(c) Any information referred to in the Resolution Agreement
(d) Any information provided to the Conciliator that we agree can be placed on ACC’s file
(e) Any other information that we agree can be recorded on ACC’s file.
We agree that subject to relevant privacy and confidentiality rules, Talk – Meet – Resolve can collect, hold and use information about dispute resolution processes and outcomes to support transparency, accountability and system improvement.
3. Confidentiality of the process
We agree that the remainder of the conciliation will be entirely confidential. Any information or documentation disclosed during the conciliation, including during the preliminary steps, individual or joint meetings, by any party or the conciliator, will remain confidential except in the circumstances noted in (a), (b) and (c) below. In summary, this means the people who are part of conciliation will not tell others outside of conciliation about what was said during the process.
The exceptions to confidentiality are:
(a) If the Conciliator has reason to believe that any person is in danger of physical harm.
(b) For the purpose of obtaining privileged legal advice.
(c) If disclosure is required by order of a court or by law.
We agree that each of us will not take, and will not permit any other person to take, photographs or make any audio-visual recording of the conciliation process or its participants (whether in person or online). We understand that the venues where we meet in person may have CCTV cameras in operation for safety and security purposes only.
4. Role of conciliator
We accept that the Conciliator will be neutral and impartial. She or he will listen to each of us and will assist us to explore options to resolve the issues between us. The Conciliator will help us to:
- Explain to each other what is important to us.
- Work out where we agree on things and/or where we see things differently (the things in dispute).
- Help us to think about different options to resolve the things in dispute.
- Reach an agreed resolution on how to resolve the things in dispute.
We agree that the Conciliator is an independent expert and can:
- use her or his expertise to help us identify the issues in dispute.
- if we agree, make suggestions on how to resolve the things in dispute.
We agree that we can each decide if we make use of the Conciliator’s independent expertise or suggestions and that these are not binding on us.
We understand that the Conciliator can not:
- provide legal advice, or
- make a decision for us, or
- impose a solution on us.
We agree that each of us can talk privately or meet separately with the Conciliator and that any such discussions will remain confidential unless we give authorisation to disclose any information. Either of us can request a private meeting at any time. The Conciliator can also suggest this at any time.
5. Authority to settle and representation at conciliation
We agree that we have the legal authority to reach agreement on the meeting day or if not, to arrange for someone that has such authority to be available on the meeting day.
We agree that we can bring someone (including a lawyer) to support, assist and/or advise us during the Conciliation. We agree that such people will first need to agree to and sign clause 10 of the Agreement to Conciliate before they can participate in the process. If we want someone to attend in person, by videoconference or teleconference we will tell the Conciliator who that person is prior to the meeting and the Conciliator will then discuss this with us.
6. Withdrawing from the Conciliation
Conciliation is voluntary. We agree we will attend the conciliation meeting with the intention of trying to resolve our dispute.
Either of us can withdraw from the conciliation process at any time. Before we do, we agree we will first talk to the Conciliator.
The Conciliator can also end the conciliation process if, after consultation with us, the Conciliator considers she or he is unable to achieve a resolution of the dispute.
7. Writing and signing a Resolution Agreement
If we reach an agreement the Conciliator will help us record that agreement in writing (the “Resolution Agreement”). Once the Resolution Agreement is signed by each of us we will be bound by that agreement. This means we will think carefully about it before we sign any Resolution Agreement. If we do not sign the Resolution Agreement then the terms of the draft Resolution Agreement will remain confidential and non-binding until it is signed by each of us.
8. We will not take action against the Conciliator or each other arising from the conciliation process
We will not take any legal action against the Conciliator in relation to anything to do with the Conciliation process. We agree that, subject to any written agreement to the contrary, if one of us does take legal action against the Conciliator in relation to anything to do with the conciliation process, that person will pay the Conciliator’s legal costs.
We agree that neither of us will claim defamation against each other about anything said or referred to during the conciliation process.
The Conciliator will not act as a decision maker (e.g. a Reviewer) in any dispute which has been to conciliation but was not resolved through that conciliation process.
9. Without prejudice
We agree that this process is “without prejudice” to each other’s rights. This means that by entering in to this Conciliation process we are not agreeing to give up our rights, including the right to request a review hearing.
We have read, understood and agree to the conditions of this agreement:
[Claimant Signature & Date]
[ACC Signature & Date]
[Conciliator Signature & Date]
10. Support people/Advocates and other conciliation participants
We agree that unless authorised by the claimant/customer or the information is otherwise able to be disclosed in accordance with clause 2 or 3, we will keep confidential any information or documentation disclosed during the conciliation, including during the preliminary steps, individual or joint meetings, by any party or the conciliator. In summary, this means as people who are part of conciliation we will not tell others outside of conciliation about what was said during this process.
[Claimant Representative Signature & Date]
[Support Person Signature & Date]
[ACC Staff Member Signature & Date]
[ACC Representative Member Signature & Date]