12 Mar 2015

New ACAS guidance on choice of companion

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On Wednesday 11th March, the new revised version of the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures came into force.

The changes to the Code relate to an employee's right to be accompanied – it is now clear that employers must agree to an employee's request to be accompanied by any companion, provided they are a trade union representative or a work colleague. The choice of companion does not have to be reasonable, provided the request itself is reasonable. Employers cannot refuse a request to be accompanied purely on the basis that they do not believe the chosen companion to be appropriate and should not seek to influence or change an employee's choice of companion.

Although this change is simply clarifying what case law has already confirmed, it is a useful reminder of the extent of an employee's right to be accompanied.

The revised Code can be found here www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/m/Acas-Code-of-Practice-1-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures.pdf

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