Workers have a statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union official where they are required or invited by their employer to attend certain disciplinary or grievance hearings. We believe disabled employees and others who may be vulnerable because of other protected characteristics (e.g. an employee for whom English is not a first language) should be accompanied in any event if the absence of a companion would leave them unfairly disadvantaged.
What is a disciplinary hearing?
The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) guidance on disciplinary and grievance procedures, defines a disciplinary hearing as one that could result in:
- a formal warning being issued to an employee (i.e. a warning that will be placed on the employee's record)
- the taking of some other disciplinary action (such as suspension without pay, demotion or dismissal)
- the confirmation of a warning or some other disciplinary action (such as an appeal hearing). Your employer's disciplinary procedures should be readily available, normally in the staff handbook.
What is a grievance hearing?
The ACAS guidance defines a grievance hearing as a meeting at which an employer deals with a complaint about a duty owed by them to an employee, whether the duty arises from statute or common law (e.g. contractual commitments).
Your employer's grievance procedures should be readily available, normally in the staff handbook.