Disciplinary or Grievance Hearing

A common issue often raised by my clients is in relation to who can accompany them to disciplinary or grievance hearing and what the role of their companion is.

Who can the companion be?

The law states that employees are entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union Representative.

This is in accordance with the Employment Relations Act 1999. The employer may have a more generous policy and allow a wider circle of individuals to attend but very often it is just limited to a work colleague or Trade Union Representative.

The right to be accompanied relates to disciplinary or grievance hearing meetings only.

Often employees will want a family member, friend or even Solicitor to accompany them and whilst they can request this, the employer will have the right to refuse such request but careful consideration should be given.

What is the role of the “companion”?

There is often confusion over the scope of the companion’s role. The role of the companion is not only to take notes, but they can put forward the employee’s case to the panel and make any representations should the employee wish. This may be the case when the employee becomes upset or confused.

However, the companion is not able to answer questions on behalf of the employee. The employee must answer any questions directed at them.

Is the companion entitled to paid time off?

If an employee is accompanied by a work colleague then that colleague is entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off to accompany the employee to the hearing.

We can help

If you would like any further advice on a disciplinary or grievance hearing or any employment issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues in the employment law department. My telephone number is 01636 594460 or email me on rachel.garner@ringroselaw.co.uk

We offer fixed fee appointments at any of our offices most convenient for you, Lincoln, North Hykeham, Newark, Grantham, Sleaford, Boston or Spalding. Or why not come along to our free employment law advice clinic. See our website for further details.

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