The changes are of fairly limited significance and are more for clarification than any major changes. However, It is worth noting them particularly in relation to companions at disciplinary and grievance hearings.
The new Code took effect from 11 March 2015.
- It confirms that employers must agree to a worker’s request to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing or meeting by any chosen companion from one of the statutory categories, (a fellow worker, or trade union representative or official).
- It explains that the statutory requirement for such a request to be “reasonable”, applies to the making of the request, not to the worker’s choice of companion.
- It also states that a worker can change their chosen companion without waiving their right to change again.
- ACAS has also updated page 24 of its non-statutory guide, Discipline and grievances at work: the ACAS guide, to make it clear that employers can allow employees to be accompanied by companions who are not a fellow worker, or trade union representative or official.
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