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ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance – 2015 Update
Acas has made a small amendment to its Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance, which has effect from 11 March 2015.
The amendment to the Code appears at paragraphs 14 – 16 and 36 – 38, which relates to the employee’s right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance meetings. Although the legal position has not changed on this, Acas has explained the right in more detail to clarify the position.
The Acas code stipulates that;
- the employees have an absolute right to be accompanied by a fellow worker, a trade union representative or an official employed by a trade union can accompany them to a hearing, provided that the request is reasonable. (The reasonableness element applies to the making of the request, rather than the choice of companion)
- employees have the right to change their companion if they need to, e.g. where the original companion can no longer make the hearing;
- where the employee’s chosen companion is not available to make the hearing, the employer must postpone the hearing to a time proposed by the employee, provided that the new time is both reasonable and not more than five working days after the original date; and requests to be accompanied do not need to be in writing.
In addition to the code, Acas has also updated the guide in respect of the above, but also stipulates that if the employee is disabled then the employer can exercise discretion and allow an employee to bring someone who does not fit in with the above classifications, e.g. a parent or carer.