The Acas codes of practice set the minimum standard of fairness that employers should follow. Employment tribunals use these codes when deciding on relevant cases and employers are expected to have met or exceeded these standards.
You are entitled to bring a ‘companion’ with you to formal meetings such as disciplinary and grievance hearings. You should tell the manager hearing any case who you wish to accompany you so that arrangements can be made in good time. So, who can you bring?
You have a choice of who can be your 'companion':
As a member of Accord, we will help appoint an accredited rep or local Accord officer to support and represent you at formal meetings. If you've been invited to a meeting and you need our support, send us a representation request or contact your local Accord officer.
Under discrimination law, employers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. This might mean allowing someone else to attend, for example a support worker or someone with knowledge of the disability and its effects.
Employers can, but do not have to, allow companions who do not fall within the above categories. For example, some employment contracts might allow for a professional support body, partner, spouse or legal representative.
You do not have the same right to representation at informal meetings. However, you may be allowed to bring a companion with you if your employer agrees - this includes union reps and local Accord officers. Where this is agreed, it is for wellbeing support, and means we wouldn't have the same opportunity to contribute to the meeting as formal meetings (unless invited to do so). However, we still provide all the same support, but we may prompt you to take a break so that we can discuss with you our thoughts as we'd be unable to express these during the meeting.
When Accord provides representation for you, we're more than just a bystander or note taker. With the professional support of our reps and officers, we can help you to structure your case, get across your points and raise relevant points of policy. So let's take a closer look at what we can do for you.
Before you attend a meeting, our officers and reps can:
During meetings, our officers and reps can:
After meetings, we'll:
If your workplace isn't listed, please enter the first letters of your workplace postcode below to find the details of your local Accord officer.
Enter the first letters of your workplace postcode below to find the details of your local Accord officer.