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Companions to formal meetings

An employee has asked to be accompanied to a grievance meeting by a disruptive colleague. Can we refuse?

Not without breaching the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (ACAS Code).

The Employment Relations Act 1999 confirms that employees are entitled to be accompanied to certain formal meetings by a work colleague, a trade union representative or an official employed by a trade union. Employees are not, therefore, permitted to be accompanied to meetings by a family member or friend – which is a common request faced by employers. However, the question raised above has previously proved more of a grey area for practitioners. More…