Consultation on discipline and grievance code

Close date: 7 January 2014

Acas consults on proposed amendments to the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievances procedures". The consultation focuses on the requirement that a request to be accompanied at a discipline or grievance hearing should be reasonable. Acas launched the consultation following an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgment, Toal and another v GB Oils Ltd [2013] IRLR 696 EAT, which suggested that the code did not accurately reflect the statutory right to be accompanied. It concerned an employer's refusal to allow two employees to be accompanied by a companion of their choice at a grievance hearing. The code provides that it would not normally be reasonable for workers to insist on being accompanied by a companion whose presence would prejudice the hearing nor would it be reasonable for a worker to ask to be accompanied by a companion from a remote location if someone suitable was on site. The EAT's approach was that, provided the worker makes a reasonable request, he or she can be accompanied by a person of his or her choice, and that there is no requirement for the choice of companion to be reasonable.
Consultation document: Acas consultation on the revision of paragraphs 15 and 36 of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures
Consultation response: Acas response to the public consultation on the revision of the paragraphs 15 and 36 of the Acas Code of Practice of Discplinary and Grievance procedures