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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50166
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I believe an employee has a statutory right to be

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I believe an employee has a statutory right to be accompanied at a disciplinary interview although the employee has less than 2 years service but more than 1 year can my employer legally refrain from offering this statutory right?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Would this be the employee's first disciplinary?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not even notified in writing indeed he was attending a grievance interview from one of his subordinates this was adjourned after interview and the employee was then told he would have a choice of leaving the company or suffering the humility of a management performance period when he would go.!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No reasons for performance were stated and indeed the interviewing manager himself declared he had no evidence and in fact thought there were two sides to the grievance and was "sitting on the fence"

OK thank you. Thank you also for the live phone call request. Please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your time. I am attending his grievance as a companionconcerning this matter tomorrow as I suggested he may have a right and told him to appeal. I noted in the ACAS guide on disciplinary it states that the right for a companion is Statutory. I understand that an employee now doesn't have an automatic mac right of unfair dismissal under 2 years service but wondered if it could either be an exception or failing that could be pursued as a civil/ criminal law point?
Enjoy your day in court and look forward to your earliest advice

Many thanks for your patience. The legal right for workers to be accompanied at certain meetings in the workplace is dealt with under sections 10-15 of the Employment Relations Act 1999. It states that where a worker is required to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing and the worker 'reasonably requests' to be accompanied at that hearing, the employer must allow them to be accompanied by a 'single companion’.

The meetings that are covered by this right are:
• Formal disciplinary hearing (any hearing where a warning is to be issued, other disciplinary action is to be taken, or a sanction is confirmed, such as an appeal hearing) - it will include hearings that may lead to dismissal if they are related to misconduct or capability issues
• Formal grievance hearing

Finally, when it comes to the choice of companion, the worker is entitled to be accompanied either by a trade union representative or a workplace colleague. There is no right to be accompanied by family, friends or any legal representatives, such as lawyers.

Denying someone’s right to be accompanied is not a criminal matter so no criminal penalties will apply here. Instead section 11 of the legislation allows an employee who has not been allowed to exercise this statutory right to make a claim in the employment tribunal and it can award compensation not exceeding two weeks pay. So such financial compensation is the only remedy, it would not allow the person to challenge the dismissal or procedure in any way and get a second chance.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

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