What is the purpose of a disciplinary interview?
What is a "reasonable" request by a worker to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
What is the difference between an investigatory interview and a disciplinary interview?
Who should conduct a disciplinary meeting?
Who should be present at a disciplinary interview?
Can an employer invite an employee to attend a disciplinary hearing when he or she is on sick leave?
Do workers have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary hearings?
For the purpose of the right to be accompanied how is a disciplinary or grievance hearing defined?
Who can be chosen as a companion at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 provides that, if a worker makes a reasonable request to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing, the employer must allow him or her to be accompanied by a trade union representative or by a fellow worker.
Situations where the request may not be reasonable include where the worker’s chosen companion will not be available to attend a hearing within a reasonable time, for example because of illness, holiday, work or other commitments. The issue of the reasonableness of the request is a matter of fact in the particular circumstances. Employers should carefully justify any rejection of a request by reference to the principles of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (PDF format, 1.58MB) (on the Acas website), including the need to deal with matters promptly and without undue delay.
The code gives two examples of when a request may not be reasonable, which relate to the choice of companion rather than the request itself: first, where the chosen companion’s presence would prejudice the hearing or involve a conflict of interest (as would be the case where disciplinary action for the same facts is being pursued against the proposed companion, or where the proposed companion is involved in the proceedings as a witness); and second, where there are suitable colleagues available at the same site, but the worker requests the attendance of a companion from a remote geographical location.
Can an employer reject an employee’s choice of companion for a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Must an employer permit a 16 or 17 year old to be accompanied by a parent at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Is a fellow worker or trade union official obliged to accept a request to accompany a worker at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Where an employer recognises one union can a worker ask to be accompanied by an official of another union at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Where an employee chooses to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing by a union official, is the official required to be qualified or trained in this role?
Does a worker have to be a union member to request to be accompanied by a trade union official at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Does a fellow worker have the right to time off to act as a companion at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Is a worker entitled to be paid for time off work to accompany a colleague to a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
What is the companion's role at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
Can a worker and union representative agree that the representative will answer all questions put to the worker at a disciplinary hearing?
What happens if the companion is not available at the time chosen for a disciplinary or grievance hearing?
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