Employment Tax

Right to be accompanied

Produced by Tolley in association with Becky Lawton at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
  • 22 Mar 2022 12:16

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Becky Lawton at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 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...

Right to be accompanied

Any worker, as defined in Employment Relations Act 1999 (ERA 1999), who is required or invited by their employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing has the right to be accompanied.

Who has the right?

This right covers anyone, regardless of 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 members of the armed forces, the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, and 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

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