Ashok Kanani rounds up the case law on the right to legal representation at a disciplinary hearing.
On this week's XpertHR Weekly, we consider recent developments to the statutory right to be accompanied at a formal disciplinary or grievance hearing following the important decision in Toal and another v GB Oils Ltd.
An employer's veto on a trade union representative accompanying its employees to disciplinary or grievance hearings led to breaches of the right to be accompanied, an employment tribunal has found.
The High Court has held that an employer breached its implied duty of trust and confidence towards an employee who was not allowed to be accompanied at a disciplinary investigation by his choice of companion.
Additional information on the law on disciplinary rules and procedures for local authority employers, including Green Book provisions and the involvement of councillors. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on disciplinary rules and procedures.
In Roberts v GB Oils Ltd EAT/0177/13, the EAT held that there is no statutory requirement for a worker's choice of companion at a disciplinary hearing to be reasonable. Provided that the companion fulfils the statutory definition, the employer is not entitled to reject the worker's choice.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held for the second time in 2013 that there is no requirement for an employee's request to be accompanied by a particular companion to a discipline or grievance meeting to be reasonable, provided the chosen person meets the definition of a companion in the Employment Relations Act 1999.
Acas consults on proposed amendments to the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures".
This employment tribunal decision provides a useful example for employers of what the legislation on the right to be accompanied means when it says that the right applies where a worker "reasonably requests" to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing, an issue on which there is a surprising paucity of case law.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the right to be accompanied at disciplinary hearings.