Task One – Policy Document
Total Words Count: 2232
AC 1.1 Emerging Developments to Inform Approaches to Employee Voice and Engagement
In the recent decade, employee voice, or the capacity to have a say in work and the workplace, has grown in popularity. Several studies have explored voice characteristics and found major drivers, including leadership style, honesty and trustworthiness, and organisational culture (Ruck, Welch and Menara, 2017). In recent years, employee engagement has given way to employee voice, defined as workers’ willingness to offer ideas and share information. It shows that involvement alone is not enough for workers to make important contributions to businesses like Makite.
The UK government’s Taylor Review recognised the importance of employee voice in Modern Working Practices, highlighting the need for organisations to actively encourage staff involvement in decision-making processes at all levels (Taylor et al., 2017). However, this does not mean organisations should establish formal mechanisms such as employee forums or focus groups. Rather, it means creating an environment where staff feels comfortable raising concerns or offering suggestions when they see something that needs changing.
Further, emerging technological developments can transform how organisations manage employee engagement (Ruck, Welch and Menara, 2017). These developments include. The increasing use of digital technologies, such as virtual meetings and social media platforms, can help engage geographically dispersed employees. The rise of new forms of work, such as gig economy jobs or contractor roles with less direct employee-employer relationships, has also improved employee voice and engagement. Finally, the impact of artificial intelligence on work tasks and the opportunities this presents for self-management in the workplace (Taylor et al., 2017).
AC 1.2 Difference between Employee Involvement and Employee Participation and How it Builds Relationships
Employee engagement fosters worker participation in work-related choices. Management and workers work together to enhance organisational performance via employee participation (Kang and Sung, 2017). On the other hand, employee participation is the amount to which individuals are active in workplace decision-making and may contribute skills, experience, and ideas to organisational objectives. Employee engagement focuses on giving employees knowledge about corporate operations so they may make educated choices about their employment. This strategy gives workers more choices over their work environment and tools, including training (Kang and Sung, 2017).
As supported by Unitarism, a philosophy that argues that human beings are rational and predictable, jobs should be designed in such a way as to allow workers to perform them efficiently (Kaufman et al., 2020). This approach was based on the belief that people could be divided into two types: manual workers and mental labourers (engineers). Theory argued that if organisations were organised this way, efficiency would increase dramatically. Pluralists also argue that organisations should provide opportunities for workers to participate in decision-making processes. Altogether, employee involvement and participation build relationships because they create a culture of trust, communication and commitment. When people are involved in decisions, they tend to support them (Kaufman et al., 2020). In addition, participation fosters teamwork and encourages employees to work together toward common goals.
AC 1.3 Assess a Range of Employee Voice Tools and Approaches to Drive Employee Engagement.
CIPD maintains that employee input benefits firms. Employees may express workplace issues. Makita Solutions might improve operations and development using employee input (Managing Employment Relationship | CIPD, 2022). Employee voice communication plans include surveys and polls. Meetings, internet communication, suggestion boxes, employee feedback, and social events are others.
Suggestion schemes are a very popular way to get employees involved in the business. They reward employees who come up with ideas that improve the company and its products or services. The main advantage of suggestion schemes is that they can help identify problems or issues in an organisation, which might otherwise go unnoticed by management (Ruck, Welch and Menara, 2017). However, suggestion schemes can be costly and time-consuming to implement and manage. It is also crucial to ensure secrecy while employing recommendation programmes, since leaks of private information might harm the firm.
Team meetings provide an opportunity for everyone on a team to discuss what they are working on and share any issues or concerns they may have about their work or the organisation as a whole. The advantage is that it encourages employees to provide feedback about their work environment, leading to improved productivity and performance (Ruck, Welch and Menara, 2017). It also creates a culture of continuous improvement in the organisation by encouraging open communication between managers and employees. However, managers’ lack of time commitment can lead to poorly attended or no meetings.
The employees can collectively bargain with their employer, and the employer may agree to it. It is an effective tool that drives employee engagement because it increases trust between employees and employers (Doellgast and Benassi, 2020). Employees will feel they are being listened to, improving their engagement levels. The disadvantages are that collective bargaining can take a long time, requiring negotiations and compromises from both parties. It might not be beneficial for small companies with limited resources, but they must improve their employee engagement levels.
AC 1.4 Critically Evaluate the Interrelationships between Employee Voice and Organisational Performance
According to research, employee feedback is a major cause of poor productivity at Makite Solutions. Employee voice frameworks promote workers’ involvement in business management. Employees who feel ignored by management may stay mute (Managing Employment Relationship | CIPD, 2022). Studies relate employee voice to organisational performance. Strong employee voices were linked to high-performance work practices in a meta-analysis. This research shows that employees who feel heard perform better. They feel ownership over their company since they participate.
Some debate if employee voice improves organisational performance. For example, employee voice’s influence on organisational performance is difficult to assess (Holland, Cooper and Sheehan, 2016). Organisations that utilise a range of voice approaches (such as allowing workers to engage in decision-making and issue-solving) may perform better than those that use just one way (such as listening) (Managing Employment Relationship | CIPD, 2022). Employee input is not always good for organisations, too. A company may discover that its workers are critical yet hesitant to provide improvement recommendations. In this scenario, companies may benefit by not listening to workers’ opinions.
AC 1.5 Explain the Concept of Better Working Lives and How this can be Designed
Good work is interesting, gratifying, and satisfying, says the Work Foundation. Good work is an alternative to good employment. Work Foundation and Harvard Business Review employ the term in future-of-work studies. It answers topics such as “What constitutes a good job?” How can companies guarantee excellent jobs? What must companies do? Various metrics are used to assess job quality and good work for organisations. These metrics are important for Makite Solutions to determine the good work for its employees.
Pay and Benefits
Pay and benefits are the most common metric used by employers to assess job quality. The amount of money that employees earn directly affects their ability to support themselves and their families. It also significantly impacts living costs in different parts of the country (Wheatley, 2022).
Health, Safety and Psychosocial Well-being
Good work requires safe employees. Sick or wounded employees cannot perform as well as healthy ones, resulting in poorer production, morale, and stress. Poor health may cost firms and employees long-term (Wheatley, 2022). Therefore, job satisfaction and promotion prospects can affect employee well-being.
Good job enhances physical and mental wellness. Makita Solutions must understand health aspects to achieve this in numerous ways. Using sit-to-stand workstations and treadmill desks may promote increased movement in the office (Wheatley, 2022). Encourage team engagement by using group work areas or open-plan locations. Third, create a climate that encourages excellent communication between managers and workers by ensuring supervisors always know what individuals are doing so they can react if required.
AC 3.1 Explain the Principles of Legislation Relating to Unfair Dismissal in Respect of Capability and Misconduct Issues
According to Employment Rights Act 1996, a dismissal is unfair if an employer dismisses an employee because they have asserted their statutory employment rights. The law protects employees from dismissal because they have raised a grievance or brought proceedings under the Act (Harcourt et al., 2019). This conduct alludes to someone’s employment capacity. Because of poor performance or wrongdoing, an employee may not be able to complete their job correctly. Misconduct is behavior that violates the employer’s norms and expectations, such as swearing at customers or stealing from or destroying their property. Legislation is based on critical principles, including fairness, following the procedure, and investigation
The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that it is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee without a fair procedure (Harcourt et al., 2019). A fair procedure includes giving sufficient time to consider the allegation against you, allowing you to put forward your case and provide evidence and also allowing you to appeal against the decision made by your employer concerning your dismissal.
Following a Fair Procedure
The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that it is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee without following a fair procedure (Harcourt et al., 2019). A fair procedure includes giving sufficient time to consider the allegation against you, allowing you to put forward your case and provide evidence and also allowing you to appeal against the decision made by your employer concerning your dismissal.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that it is unlawful for an employer to not only dismiss an employee without following a fair procedure but also not investigate any allegations against them before dismissing them from their employment.
AC 3.2 Analyse Key Causes of Employee Grievances
A dissatisfied employee complains about anything unreasonable, unfair, or uneven at work. Unresolved worker complaints lead to employee grievances to businesses like Makite solutions. Hostile work environments or harassment can result in complaints (Obiekwe and Uchechi Eke, 2019). When a concern is mild, people practitioners may address it spontaneously. Otherwise, a formal process must be followed. There are various reasons workers have reasonable concerns that lead to unhappiness and disengagement.
Poor management causes employee complaints, resulting in poor productivity, morale, and employee satisfaction. Suppose the management cannot interact with personnel. They may feel unfairly treated or not offered enough professional prospects. Managers should know and address employee needs (Obiekwe and Uchechi Eke, 2019). Makita solutions HR managers should be transparent and honest with workers to prevent issues. They should communicate with all staff levels (including senior managers).
Lack of Flexibility
Lack of workplace flexibility might cause employee complaints. Employees may feel their working hours are too long or their break periods are too short, causing weariness and lowering productivity. Employees should know their rights to flexible working hours, part-time employment, and telecommuting (Obiekwe and Uchechi Eke, 2019). The HR staff should approve these requests whenever feasible.
Poor Working Conditions
Employees are often frustrated with the working environment. They may feel that their office is too hot or cold, that they cannot concentrate because they are distracted by noise or other people, or that they do not have access to the tools and resources they need to get their job done. Poor working conditions can also lead to increased absenteeism and employee turnover. Employees may become frustrated and less productive over time (Obiekwe and Uchechi Eke, 2019). Therefore, Makite solutions should address physical and psychological job satisfaction to reduce employee grievances related to poor working conditions.
AC 3.3 Explain the Skills Required for Effective Grievance and Discipline-Handling Procedures
In any business like Makite solution, listening to employees’ grievances is important. Active listening is essential for effective grievance and discipline-handling procedures (Los Reyes and Rolloque, 2017). A good listener can understand an employee’s issues and resolve them fairly. Active listening helps people understand the problem from all angles, making it easier for them to come up with a solution. It also helps build trust between you and your employees by showcasing your commitment to efficiently resolving their issues. However, in some cases, employees may not be honest with their grievances because they fear reprisal from their superiors or other employees (Los Reyes and Rolloque, 2017). It leads to wrong conclusions during the grievance-handling process, further deteriorating employee-management relations within an organisation.
The investigation involves collecting evidence and analysing it before concluding an incident or grievance raised by an employee against their superiors or other employees of an organisation (Los Reyes and Rolloque, 2017). It helps identify the root cause of any problem so that corrective measures can be taken before things get out of hand, leading to serious consequences. However, it may be time-consuming if many stakeholders are involved in the issue or if multiple issues need to be addressed simultaneously.
Mediation can be used in many contexts, including in the workplace. Mediation is commonly used to resolve disputes between employees and employers and to avoid litigation. It is characterised by reduced stress levels on both sides and increased trust between parties (Żakowska, 2017). It also has less risk of escalation or further legal costs and faster resolution than a formal disciplinary procedure. However, there is a lack of confidentiality and a lower success rate than internal policies/procedures (Żakowska, 2017). There is also no legal weight behind the decision made by the mediator. Hence, it may not always be appropriate for all situations.
AC 3.4 Advice on the Importance of Handling Grievances Effectively
Avoid Legal Claims
The first importance is to avoid legal claims or complaints. Many times a grievance will be filed if an employee feels that the grievance was not handled properly. It can lead to a lawsuit against your company (Catley et al., 2017). As an employer, ensure that if an employee is feeling upset or angry about something in the workplace, they know how to handle it appropriately before they take it any further.
Helps Avoid damage to the Reputation of the Organisation
Another reason why handling grievances effectively is important is that it helps avoid damage to the organisation’s reputation. Suppose employees feel like they are being mistreated or their concerns are not being heard. In that case, they may feel they need someone else to help with their complaints, which could lead them to talk with another person within the company or even outside of it (like lawyers) (Catley et al., 2017). It can be very damaging for businesses like Makite because if people think that something is happening, they may stop doing business with Makite and go somewhere else where they feel safer and more comfortable working with people who care about their employees.
Improve Morale and Productivity
Employees who feel they have been treated fairly are likelier to remain engaged with the organisation. They also become more committed to their work because they feel valued by their employer (Catley et al., 2017). In addition, employees who feel valued are more likely to recommend the company as a place to work and invest in it by staying longer or buying products or services from it.
Catley, B., Blackwood, K., Forsyth, D., Tappin, D., & Bentley, T. (2017). Workplace bullying complaints: lessons for “good HR practice.” Personnel Review, 46(1), 100-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/pr-04-2015-0107> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Doellgast, V. and Benassi, C., 2020. Collective bargaining. In Handbook of research on employee voice. Edward Elgar Publishing. https://www.elgaronline.com/view/edcoll/9781788971171/9781788971171.00022.xml> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Harcourt, M., Gall, G., Raman, A., Lam, H., & Croucher, R. (2019). Critiquing the OECD’s Employment Protection Legislation Index for individual dismissals: The importance of procedural requirements. Economic And Industrial Democracy, 42(4), 1210-1231. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831×19856411> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Holland, P., Cooper, B., & Sheehan, C. (2016). Employee Voice, Supervisor Support, and Engagement: The Mediating Role of Trust. Human Resource Management, 56(6), 915-929. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21809> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Kang, M., & Sung, M. (2017). How symmetrical employee communication leads to employee engagement and positive employee communication behaviors. Journal Of Communication Management, 21(1), 82-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/jcom-04-2016-0026> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Kaufman, B., Barry, M., Wilkinson, A., Lomas, G., & Gomez, R. (2020). Using unitarist, pluralist, and radical frames to map the cross-section distribution of employment relations across workplaces: A four-country empirical investigation of patterns and determinants. Journal Of Industrial Relations, 63(2), 204-234. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022185620977578> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Los Reyes, D. and Rolloque, L., 2017. Grievance Management Procedure and Discipline Handling Awareness among Public Secondary School Teachers: An Infographic Material. Online Submission. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED585160> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
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Ruck, K., Welch, M., & Menara, B. (2017). Employee voice: An antecedent to organisational engagement? Public Relations Review, 43(5), 904-914. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.04.008> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Taylor, M., Marsh, G., Nicol, D. and Broadbent, P., 2017. Good work: The Taylor review of modern working practices (p. 11). London: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. https://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv:77181> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
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Żakowska, M. (2017). Mediation in armed conflict. Security And Defence Quarterly, 17(4), 74-99. https://doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0011.7851> [Accessed 7 October 2022].
Task Two – Advisory Briefing Note
Total Words Count 1774
AC 2.1 Distinguish Between Organisational Conflict and Misbehaviour and Between Informal and Formal Conflict
Employees come from many walks of life and represent various viewpoints, experiences, and worldviews. Conflict is inevitable when these conditions exist, and the resulting stress may be detrimental to productivity at work.
Conflict vs. Misbehaviour
Conflict is a state of opposition or antagonism between persons, groups, or ideas. Conflict is often undesirable, but it is inevitable in many social contexts. In interpersonal conflict, one or more parties to a dispute feel negatively toward another party, which in turn feels negatively toward the first party or parties (Thompson and Ackroyd, 2022). Misbehaviour is any behavior that violates workplace and organisational norms. The behavior may be explicitly forbidden by law or company policy. It may also be prohibited by an institutional code of conduct or code of ethics. Conflicts in organisations are often caused by misbehavior.
Informal Conflict vs. Formal Conflict
Informal conflict occurs when two employees have different ideas about how to do something or what to do. Informal conflict can be resolved by discussing the problem and coming up with a solution that both agree on (Kiitam, McLay and Pilli, 2016). On the other hand, formal conflict occurs when two employees have different ideas about how to do something or what to do. Still, they can’t resolve it by talking about it with each other, so they need help from someone else, like a human resource manager or general manager, to resolve their issue (Kiitam, McLay and Pilli, 2016). Informal conflict can be resolved by discussing the problem and coming up with a solution that both agree on. Formal conflict can be resolved by getting help from someone (like a manager) and coming up with a solution that everyone agrees on (like an apology letter).
The conflict that occurs in an organisation can be both positive as well as negative for the organisation. Conflict is positive for the organisation when it helps identify the problems within an organisation and helps solve them before they become bigger problems (Kiitam, McLay and Pilli, 2016). For example, suppose there is a difference of opinion between two employees regarding their duties and responsibilities. In that case, it becomes a conflict that needs to be addressed so that it does not affect their relationship with each other or with other employees in the department. On the other hand, conflict is negative for an organisation when it creates unnecessary tension and distracts employees from performing their regular duties (Kiitam, McLay and Pilli, 2016). For example, if there is a conflict between two employees who work together on a project, it might affect their performance on this project and other projects they are working on at that time.
AC 2.2 Distinguish Between Official and Unofficial Employee Action
When disagreements arise at Makita Solutions, the top levels intervene to prevent escalation. Better working conditions, unfulfilled bargaining, and lower compensation produce workplace tension and discontent (Jacobson and Tufts, 2012). If workers’ concerns are not handled via informal channels, they may switch to official channels or do it themselves.
Official employee action is typically taken by an employee and sanctioned by the company. On the other hand, unofficial employee action occurs when an employee takes actions that the company does not sanction. For example, if an employee organises a group of employees to protest against the company or its policies, this would be considered unofficial employee action (Jacobson and Tufts, 2012).
Employees who take official action may enjoy some protections under the law and trade unions. In particular, employers may not retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activities. Poor workplace performance is the result of both official and unofficial staff behaviors (Jacobson and Tufts, 2012). As a result, the administration must move swiftly to address employee complaints and resolve disputes, so they do not lead to disruptive employee behavior.
AC 2.3 Assess Emerging Trends in the Types of Conflict and Industrial Sanctions
The emergence of industrial relations and human resource management as distinct fields of study has significantly impacted how we view conflict in organisations. Conflict management theories and models have evolved to reflect these changes (Li and Toppinen, 2011).
The shift from Long Strikes to Shorter, Strategically Planned Strikes
The long-term strike has been replaced by shorter strikes, which are strategic and planned by the unions. The advantage of this strategy is that it allows unions to negotiate with management more effectively because there is no need for them to be involved in lengthy negotiations (Li and Toppinen, 2011). However, it can be used against employees and employers who want shorter contracts with fewer benefits or working conditions.
Increasing use of Injunctions by Organisations
Injunctions are orders a court can make to stop someone from doing something. The most common type of injunction is an interim injunction, which is an order that stops someone from taking a certain action until the court has decided whether or not to grant them a permanent injunction (Li and Toppinen, 2011). It is a good way to resolve conflicts between employees and employers. It helps resolve conflict quickly in the company and prevents further damage to the relationship between employer and employee. However, it may limit employees’ freedom of expression and association. Although there are disadvantages, it will be a useful way to solve disputes between employees and employers.
Individualisation of Workplace Conflict
The individualisation of workplace conflict is also a way of approaching issues among colleagues by focusing on the individuals involved in conflicts rather than on the group. This approach has gained popularity because it allows for a more objective assessment of the issue at hand and avoids the generalisations that can arise from attributing all negative interactions to a particular group or culture (Li and Toppinen, 2011). However, when multiple people are involved in an incident, it may become difficult to determine who caused the conflict or who was responsible for it happening.
AC 2.4 Distinguish Between Third-Party Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
Mediation is a process where a neutral third party assists with conflict resolution. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions. Instead, they help both sides communicate to devise an agreement that works for them (Rapatsa, 2018). In some cases, they may also suggest possible solutions to the problem (Pache and Santos, 2021). The advantages are that mediation can be used to resolve conflicts more efficiently. However, it takes a long time to settle disputes through mediation, and sometimes parties involved in a conflict may not be willing to compromise their interests for peace.
Third-party conciliation is similar to mediation in that it involves a third party who helps resolve the conflict between two parties without making any decisions or taking sides. However, in conciliation, the parties do not come up with their solutions; instead, the conciliator makes recommendations for how to solve the issue (Rapatsa, 2018). The main advantage of third-party conciliation is that the process is confidential, which helps protect the privacy of all parties involved. However, there might be high costs if both parties want legal representation at the conciliation stage (for example, barristers).
Arbitration is another method used to resolve disputes between two parties. Still, it differs from mediation and conciliation in that no neutral third party is involved. Instead, the arbitrator’s decision is final and binding upon both parties involved in the dispute (Rapatsa, 2018). Compared with litigation, arbitration is much more cost-effective for both parties. Also, there are no court costs involved with the arbitration, unlike in litigation. However, because arbitration occurs outside of court proceedings, there is no guarantee that an arbitrator’s decision will be upheld if it is challenged on the appeal within the judicial system.
AC 4.1 Explain the Main Provisions of Collective Employment Law.
Collective employment legislation manages employer-employee relationships. Collective employment legislation governs the rights and duties of employers and workers in enterprises like Makite solutions. Makita must follow its terms to prevent controversy (Employment Law | CIPD. CIPD, 2022).
Statutory Recognition Procedures
The UK has a system of statutory recognition procedures designed to ensure that collective agreements support the relevant workforce before they are legally enforceable (Employment Law | CIPD. CIPD, 2022).
Disclosure of Information for Collective Bargaining
Under this procedure, an employer must disclose certain information to a recognised trade union where it is seeking to make changes to pay and conditions (Employment Law | CIPD. CIPD, 2022). The union can then decide whether or not to accept these changes and negotiate about them with the employer before they are implemented.
Legal enforceability of collective agreements
Suppose a trade union has negotiated a collective agreement with an employer. In that case, it can apply for an order from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) or Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), which will make it legally binding on both parties (Employment Law | CIPD. CIPD, 2022).
AC 4.2 Compare the Types of Employee Bodies, Union And Non-Union Forms of Employee Representation
Employee bodies are organisations that represent the views of employees in the UK. Employee bodies are independent of the government and from employers. Employee bodies include trade unions and other representatives, such as works councils, representing employees in collective bargaining negotiations on pay, hours and other issues (Williams, Abbott and Heery, 2011). Employee bodies’ main advantage is allowing workers to have their say in their working conditions. However, employee bodies can sometimes be politicised and take positions on political issues unrelated to their workplace concerns
A union is a group of workers fighting for employees’ rights and benefits. Employees form Unions to protect their rights, including Unite, USDAW and TUC. These unions deal with issues related to discrimination, workplace bullying, and other issues employees face (Williams, Abbott and Heery, 2011). It provides legal support to its members when they face problems with their employers or agencies, such as unfair dismissal, discrimination based on gender, race or age, and unlawful dismissal. However, unions can sometimes be inefficient because they do not want workplace change. Sometimes they may go on strike, resulting in losses for both sides.
The main non-union forms of employee representation include employee representative committees (ERC), worker representatives, and supervisory boards. These are special committees within companies that gather representatives from different parts of the organisation (generally from non-management staff) and discuss issues before making recommendations on policy changes or other matters for consideration by management (Williams, Abbott and Heery, 2011). They may be easier to establish than a trade union due to fewer legal requirements and regulations. However, only employees who have been trained will likely be able to take part in meetings, so it may be difficult for some employees to participate.
AC 4.3 Evaluate the Purpose of Collective Bargaining and How it Works
Collective bargaining is a negotiation between a group of employees and management to reach agreements on the terms and conditions of employment. It is commonly used to resolve disputes between employers and employees or labour unions and their members (Schulten and Müller, 20120). It may also be used to gain better working conditions through increased pay, benefits and improved quality of life. Collective bargaining includes the joint determination of rules and substantive and procedural agreements. The main advantage of collective bargaining is that it allows employers and employees to negotiate terms. It means that the employer does not have complete control over the terms of employment (Schulten and Müller, 20120). On the other hand, collective bargaining may make it difficult for unions to reach agreements with employers because both parties have different goals and objectives.
Collective bargaining is about to pay, benefits, and working conditions. The union usually initiates the collective bargaining process. First, both parties meet to negotiate salary and perks for the following year (Schulten and Müller, 20120). During this meeting, the union will submit its ideas for these topics and listen to management’s feedback before making any adjustments. Once they agree on their proposals’ substance, they will debate what compromises each party is ready to make to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement.
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