An employer should:

  1. explain to employees as appropriate the business and employee relations’ context for any dispute, communicating the case clearly

  2. understand the nature of the dispute — the stated reasons, the underlying reasons and any “hidden agenda”

  3. consider whether there is common ground between the employer and the workforce

  4. think carefully about dispute resolution (ie negotiation with the trade union(s) or the possibility of alternative dispute resolution) perhaps involving Acas

  5. be prepared to use informal contacts with union representatives as well as the formal processes

  6. consider the most appropriate techniques for dispute resolution (eg persuasion, offering concessions, etc).

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