How to deal with workers' statutory right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings
Author: Kate Wyatt
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- Be aware that not every disciplinary and grievance meeting attracts the right to be accompanied but, when in doubt, take a generous approach and allow a companion.
- Remember that a worker's request to be accompanied must be reasonable.
- Never pressurise a chosen companion to agree to, or to refuse to, carry out the role.
- Comply with the statutory duty to rearrange a meeting within five days if the companion is unavailable at the time proposed.
- Allow the companion reasonable paid time off to carry out their role.
- Ensure that you understand what the companion can and cannot do at the meeting.
- Carefully consider any requests for additional or legal representation at a disciplinary hearing.
- Make reasonable adjustments if required by an employee who is disabled, for example by permitting an alternative or additional companion from outside the usual permitted categories.
- Be aware of the consequences of refusing workers the right to be accompanied.