Right to be accompanied

Produced by Tolley
Right to be accompanied

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Right to be accompanied
  • Who has the right?
  • Hearings at which the right applies
  • Who may accompany?
  • The companion's role
  • The right to legal representation?
  • Requests to postpone hearings
  • Time off for companions
  • Claims arising from the right to be accompanied
  • Failures to comply with the right to be accompanied
  • More...

Any worker who is required or invited by his employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing has the right to be accompanied.

Who has the right?

This right covers anyone, whatever their length of service, who is a 'worker' as defined, namely:

individuals who have entered into, or work under, a contract of employment or any other contract under which the individual has agreed personally to undertake work or services for another party who is not a client or customer of that individual's own businessERA 1999, s 13(1)(a)
ERA 1996, s 230(3)
agency workersERA 1999, ss 13(1)(b), 13(2)
home workersERA 1999, ss 13(1)(c), 13(3)
persons in Crown employment (except for the armed forces, the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, or GCHQ)ERA 1999, ss 13(1)(d), 15
ERA 1996, s 191
'relevant' members of staff of the House of Lords or House of CommonsERA 1999, s 13(1)(e)
ERA 1996, ss 194(6), 195(5)

Hearings at which the right applies

The right to be accompanied applies to:

  1. disciplinary hearings which could result in:

    1. the worker receiving a formal warning

      Disciplinary hearings at which the worst possible outcome for the worker is an informal warning are not covered, although a warning will not be considered 'informal' for these purposes simply because the employer gives it that label: eg any warning which is confirmed in writing and forms part of the worker's disciplinary record is likely to be considered a formal warning, thus attracting the right to be accompanied

    2. the employer taking 'some other action' with regard to the worker. This probably means some other disciplinary action, so redundancy consultation meetings would not be covered.

    3. the confirmation of either a formal warning that has been issued or some other action that has been taken (ie disciplinary appeal hearings)

  2. grievance hearings which concern the performance of a duty by an employer in relation to a worker

Who may accompany?

Workers may choose the person they wish to accompany them. That person must be:

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