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Acas revises wording in Code on accompaniment to hearings in light of EAT judgment


Following consultation, Acas has made a small revision to the Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures to take into account of the EAT decision in the case of Toal v GB Oils on the right of accompaniment to disciplinary and grievance hearings. In the Toal case the EAT held that under the right to be accompanied in S.10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, where a worker “reasonably requests to be accompanied at the hearing” the word “reasonably” did not extend to the worker's choice of companion, which the Code appeared to suggest was the case.

Acas has inserted new paragraphs 14-16 and 36-38 which can be viewed in full within point 3 of the Notes to Editors in the press release. In welcoming the revision, BIS have indicated that as it is 5 years since the Code was last reviewed and given the changing nature of conflict and dispute resolution at work, Acas have been asked to undertake a wider consultation on the Code of Practice as a whole. 

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