Decide if a worker's request to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing is reasonable

Key points

  • Workers are entitled to be accompanied at any formal disciplinary hearing by either a fellow worker or a trade union representative of their choice where they reasonably request to be accompanied, and the chosen companion meets the criteria set out in the legislation.
  • The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that there is no necessity for the choice of companion to be reasonable - it is the request to be accompanied itself that must be reasonable. There is, however, no guidance in the legislation about what will and will not be a reasonable request.
  • What is clear is that employers should not veto workers' choice of companion.

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