Key facts about the right to be accompanied


Who has the right?

Workers have the right.

Workers = employees + agency and casual staff

Independent and self-employed contractors are not workers.


What is the right?

The right is to be accompanied by a chosen colleague (also can be a worker and is not limited to employees) or a trade union representative.  The companion is entitled to put and sum up the case on the worker’s behalf.


The companion does not have the right to answer questions on behalf of the worker.


The right is not to be accompanied by a lawyer, a friend or family member.


When does the right arise?

The right is to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance meeting if it is requested.


It is not a right that has to be offered by the employer but if a worker requests it, there is an obligation to allow it.


A disciplinary meeting is a meeting that can result in a formal warning or other action. It can, therefore, include a performance management meeting and appeal hearings.


It does not apply to redundancy consultation meetings.


What happens if an employer does not allow it?

An employee who is denied the right to be accompanied can claim up to 2 weeks’ pay in an Employment Tribunal. A further risk is that the employee, by requesting to be accompanied, has asserted a statutory right and has claims against the employer if they are badly treated because they have asserted that right.


What happens if the right is in the Company policy/procedure?


If the workplace policy or procedure has a right to be accompanied, the employer needs to take that into consideration.


How does ACAS guidance deal with the right?


ACAS guidance on disciplinary and grievance procedures does include it.

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