The right to be accompanied arises under s.10(1)(a) and (b) of the Employment Relations Act 1999 when a worker or employee who is invited by his or her employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing makes a reasonable request for a companion to attend the hearing. a trade union representative. an official employed by a trade union The role of the companion. If the companion is a colleague, the employer must give that person time off work to attend the hearing. These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications. If your companion is a colleague, they are allowed to take paid time off work to accompany you. The role of your companion is laid out in S37 Employment Relations Act 2004. It highlights the need for institutions to check their relevant policies in respect of the role of the companion at disciplinary/grievance hearings, and in particular to address the question of whether lawyers are permitted at internal hearings. What can the companion do during a hearing? By law, any employee or worker can bring a relevant person (‘companion’) to a grievance meeting, if it’s about a legal or contractual issue. The EAT followed the decision in Toal and confirmed that the employee has an absolute right to choose their companion, regardless of whether the employer feels it is a reasonable choice or not. The employer must allow the employee to be accompanied by a companion who is chosen by the employee from three categories, set out in s.10(3) of the Act. The person must choose their companion from one of the following: a colleague. Mr Roberts was refused his first choice of companion to accompany him at a disciplinary hearing. Knowing the role of a support person in a disciplinary meeting and the law around an employee’s right to a support person will help to protect you from unfair dismissal claims. The companion is permitted to address the disciplinary hearing (including putting the employee’s case, summing up, and responding on the employee’s behalf to any view expressed at the hearing) and to confer with the employee during the hearing. This article discusses the role of a support person in a disciplinary meeting. Q: What is the role of the companion in disciplinary hearings? The Role of Companions at Disciplinary and Grievance Hearings Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 a worker has the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative at an internal disciplinary or grievance procedure hearing, provided … While this should obviously cover time off for the hearing itself, the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures advises that it is good practice to permit time off for the companion to familiarise themselves with the case, and confer with the worker they are accompanying both before and after the hearing. Diane Gilhooley is HR … The Role of Companions at Disciplinary and Grievance Hearings Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 a worker has the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative at an internal disciplinary or grievance procedure hearing, provided … The role of the companion is limited. The Fair Work Commission’s Approach. The Role of Companions at Disciplinary and Grievance Hearings. A: The role of the companion is to hold the hand, metaphorically, of the accused and ensure that their rights are respected. Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 a worker has the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative at an internal disciplinary or grievance procedure hearing, provided the request is reasonable in the circumstances. Under s.10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, employees have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing if they make a reasonable request. This is known as ‘the right to be accompanied’.