Springhouse Solicitors

ACAS extends rights at disciplinaries and grievances

Background

Section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 (ERA) provides a statutory right for workers to be accompanied at a disciplinary (relating to conduct and/or performance) or grievance hearing where they make a reasonable request.

The EAT judgment in Toal v GB Oils 2013, clarified that the reasonableness requirement for requests does not apply to the worker’s choice of companion but rather to making the request itself review case here.  The correct legal position is therefore that workers can be accompanied by whoever they like, provided they are a work colleague trade union representative or official.

Implication for Employers

In the light of the EAT’s decision in Toal and following the results of a public consultation, ACAS has revised paragraphs 14 to 16 and 36 to 38 of its Statutory Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Greievance Procedures 2009 as follows:

The revised Code has been approved by the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and now been submitted for parliamentary approval review response to public consultation and revised Code here.

ACAS also intends to change its Guidance on Handling Disciplinary and Grievances 2014 to provide guidance about the above revisions.