The updated Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures contains amended sections dealing with the right to be accompanied at hearings, stating that employees have an absolute right to be accompanied by a companion of their choice.
However, it does urge workers as a matter of good practice to consider the practicalities of the arrangements and select a companion who is suitable, willing and available on site rather than someone from a geographically remote location.
The revised code indicates that a worker should provide the name of the companion where possible and the category from which they are drawn (fellow worker, a trade union representative or a trade union official).
A request to be accompanied does not have to be in writing or within a certain time frame. However, workers should give the employer enough time to deal with the companion's attendance at the meeting.
This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.