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There is no statutory right for a worker to be accompanied by a legal representative at a disciplinary hearing. However, cases have arisen in which workers have argued that the legal right to be accompanied should extend to legal representation. So where do employers stand? Ashok Kanani rounds up the case law on the right to legal representation at a disciplinary hearing.
Workers have a legal right to be accompanied, if they wish, at any formal disciplinary interview by either a fellow worker or a trade union official of their choice.
This is as far as the statute goes. The statutory right to be accompanied does not extend to legal representation.
There is, however, nothing to prevent an employer from granting a contractual right to legal representation at disciplinary hearings.
Since 2008, a number of employees have sought to assert a right to legal representation at disciplinary hearings, relying either on human rights or contractual terms.