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Disciplinary & Grievance

Employers and employees sometimes have formal meetings. These can be: 

  • disciplinary hearings, which are called because the employer has an issue with the conduct or performance of the employee  
  • grievance hearings, which are called because the employee has an issue in connection with their employment

Employer obligations
An employer must give an employee 48 hours notice of all disciplinary hearings. They must provide the employee with all the evidence they are going to rely upon at that meeting, including any witness statements. Employees have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative.

Right to be accompanied
An employer must allow an employee to be accompanied by either a Trade Union representative or a work colleague of their choosing. This request must be reasonable, and your employer can refuse a work colleague for a number of reasons. If your representative is unavailable to attend, you can make a request to the employer, who should allow a postponement and arrange a meeting within 5 working days.

Can my colleague have time off to come with me?
Employers would usually allow your colleague to have time away from their normal duties to accompany you. They can, however, refuse the request if it is unreasonable. For example, if it meant that the business was unable to function properly if allowing both you and your colleague to attend simultaneously would leave the employer short staffed.

Sickness absence
If you are not well enough to attend the hearing, you can ask for it to be postponed. You must be aware, however, that some employers make decisions in their employee’s absence. Usually, it is better for an employee to attend their hearing so they can put forward their side of events.

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