How to avoid a dispute escalating into industrial action
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- Be aware of the effects that industrial action can have on the organisation and have procedures in place for resolving conflict.
- Understand the requirements to be met for industrial action to be lawful.
- Ensure that time and resources are given to the communication process prior to a ballot being held.
- Clarify exactly what is in dispute and clearly set out the employer's position.
- Bear in mind the need to maintain a good working relationship with the union and employees in the long term.
- Make sure that the people negotiating on behalf of the employer have the relevant skills.
- Be prepared to accept an element of compromise when working with employee representatives to try to reach a resolution.
- Consider whether or not to enter into mediation or arbitration.
- Carefully consider the use of discipline or other sanctions as a means of trying to resolve the dispute.
- Be aware of the pros and cons of seeking an injunction to prevent industrial action and understand when an injunction can be granted.