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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73488
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am facing a disciplinary meeting tomorrow on false

Customer Question

I am facing a disciplinary meeting tomorrow on false allegations of assault on another member of staff which I did not commit. I have a long term disability and suffer from depression and acute stress reaction and panic attack when put under stress. I have asked to be accompanied by a family member for support just in case, I become ill. They have refused and they are not allowing me the opportunity to ask questions to other witnesses. Could you advise? Thanks
JA: Have you discussed the disciplinary action with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: With the Manager conducting the hearing and to whom I have sent an email.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee but I have worked for this company for the last 6 months only. I did declare my mental health issue at the interview and informed them that I am on medications.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The allegations are false and I have witnesses to say that nothing happened.
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Why do you need a family member with you there? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
that I feel secured in case I come under a lot of stress and have a panic attack. I feel it will be more dignifying for me to be dealt with by a family member than a stranger or being on my own.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
What do I do now?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

By law you only have the right to be accompanied by a union representative or a colleague. However, if you have a disability then you have the legal right to expect the employer to make reasonable adjustments, in the event you ill be placed at a disadvantage without them. Such a adjustment could be amending the policy to allow someone else, like a family member, to attend

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is determine if you are disabled, as without it you do not have such rights. The legal definition of a ‘disability’ can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that can qualify. Potentially, any condition or ailment can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

That criteria are contained in The Equality Act 2010, which defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

I will break this definition down and examine it in more detail below:

- Physical or mental impairment – this can include practically any medical condition, be it a physical or mental impairment

- Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial

- Long-term - the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months

- Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. shopping, reading and writing, having a conversation or using the telephone, watching television, getting washed and dressed, preparing and eating food, carrying out household tasks, walking and travelling by various forms of transport, and taking part in social activities)

Please also take a look at this detailed guide on determining if you are disabled:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/checking-if-its-discrimination/check-if-youre-disabled-under-the-equality-act/

If a person satisfies the necessary criteria, they will be classified as being disabled in a legal sense and will have automatic protection against discrimination. This means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees. In your case, it would be the ability to take someone else with you if necessary.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
can I therefore ask for a postponement and maintain to be accompanied by a family member.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I do not feel that I can face it on my own.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

you casn,  but canniot force them to agree to it, which means if they do and have done so unfairly;y, you may consider complaining about it