In the business world, disputes are inevitable. Whether between employees, clients, or business partners, conflicts can disrupt operations and drain resources. This is where an Arbitration Policy comes into play.

An arbitration policy is a crucial framework that outlines the procedures for resolving disputes outside of traditional court systems. With a well-drafted policy, business leaders can breathe easy that the organization has a clear and established framework for mitigating legal disputes.

What is an Arbitration Policy?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where parties agree to submit their disputes to a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, who then renders a decision. An arbitration policy is a set of guidelines and procedures established by an organization to resolve disputes through the arbitrator.

Arbitration policies are often used in commercial contracts, employment agreements, and consumer contracts as a means of efficiently resolving disputes while avoiding the time, expense, and formality of traditional litigation. Put simply: arbitration can be the easiest path to a fair resolution for both parties, and a policy establishes it as the primary mode of discourse.

What Should be Included?

Arbitration policies can be complex, often because they’re designed to accommodate a wide variety of disputes. An effective policy should include several key components to ensure clarity, fairness, and efficiency in resolving disagreements. Here are some essential elements to include:

  • Scope: Defines which disputes are subject to arbitration
  • Agreement to arbitrate: Clearly states that disputes will be resolved through arbitration
  • Arbitration provider: Specifies the organization or individual overseeing the arbitration
  • Arbitrator selection: Outlines how arbitrators will be chosen
  • Arbitration procedures: Describes the steps of the arbitration process
  • Confidentiality: Addresses the privacy of arbitration proceedings
  • Costs and fees: Explains how arbitration expenses will be handled
  • Governing law: Specifies the applicable legal framework
  • Enforcement of awards: Explains how arbitration decisions will be enforced
  • Severability: Clarifies that invalid parts won’t affect the rest of the policy
  • Notice and communication: Describes how parties will be informed
  • Amendment and termination: States if and how the policy can be changed or ended
  • Language and interpretation: Clarifies the language and resolve conflicts
  • Acknowledgment: Requires parties to confirm their agreement to the policy

By including these elements in an arbitration policy, organizations can establish a clear framework for resolving disputes through arbitration. In doing so, they also promote efficiency, fairness, and enforceability in how those disputes are handled.

Does my Company Need One?

Whether your company needs an arbitration policy depends on various factors, including the nature of your business, your industry, and your preferences regarding dispute resolution. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

  • Industry standards: In certain industries, arbitration policies are common practice and may be expected by clients, partners, or investors. For example, many technology companies include arbitration clauses in their contracts. In these industries, not having one might be seen as an oversight.
  • Risk management: Arbitration can offer a more efficient and cost-effective way to resolve disputes compared to litigation. If your company anticipates potential disputes with customers, employees, or other parties, a policy could help manage these risks.
  • Privacy and confidentiality: Arbitration proceedings are typically private, which may be desirable if your company deals with sensitive information or proprietary technology.
  • Company culture: Consider your company’s culture and values. If you prioritize fairness, efficiency, and privacy in dispute resolution, arbitration may align well with your company’s ethos.
  • Consultation with legal advisors: It’s advisable to consult with legal advisors who can provide guidance tailored to your company’s specific circumstances, including potential risks and benefits of implementing an arbitration policy.

Ultimately, whether your company needs one depends on your unique situation, objectives, and risk tolerance. That said, most companies can proactively benefit from an arbitration policy that safeguards them against potential legal action.

Create Your Own Arbitration Policy

Arbitration policies often need to be very specific, making them complex to draft and customize for your company. Traditionally, this meant collaborating with legal experts to draft one with specific provisions for your organizations and its services. SixFifty’s employment suite makes it easy to craft an arbitration policy as part of your larger hiring and employment docs. When you create your policy with SixFifty, it will be automatically updated as the law changes.

Create your own Arbitration Policy or schedule a demo with SixFifty and get the peace of mind that comes with an established framework for settling corporate disputes.