Let us know, Copyright ©2021 Citizens Advice. All rights reserved. Being subject to formal disciplinary proceedings can be unsettling, unnerving and very uncomfortable for an employee. In this week’s question of the week, Alistair explains what role Trade Union Representatives have at disciplinary investigations. The employee has a right have a colleague or a trade union representative accompany them to the disciplinary hearing. You can ask an official from any trade union to come with you. The hearing: The Chairperson will introduce himself and then ask all the parties present to introduce … Most HR professionals are aware that Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) provides that the employee should be allowed the assistance of a trade union representative or fellow employee. ANSWER. In the case of NUMSA obo Thomas vs Murray and Roberts Alucast (2008, 2 BALR 134) the arbitrator found that the fraud-based disciplinary matter was not legally complex and therefore rejected the trade union’s claim that the employee was entitled to be represented by an external trade union official instead of by a shop steward. The legal position is the same whether the representative is a trade union official or a work colleague. Registered charity number 279057 VAT number 726 0202 76 Company limited by guarantee. In larger organisations, often, the union representative will be a workplace representative who is also a co-worker. An example of this is the potential involvement of trade unions in a disciplinary hearing. A trade union ‘official’ has a particular meaning and must either be an ‘officer’ of a trade union, or someone who has been properly elected or appointed to be a representative of its members. Registered number 01436945 England Registered office: Citizens Advice, 3rd Floor North, 200 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4HD, Preparing for a disciplinary or dismissal meeting, Who can accompany you to a disciplinary meeting. Under statute, yes, in certain circumstances. If you’re unable to put your case across or would find it hard to do so because of disability or because of language problems, you should argue that it would help your employer as well to have someone there to help you. As a result, most HR professionals have advised the employer to disallow external legal representatives Under South African labour law legislation, an employee has a fundamental right to be represented … The Claimant sought to be represented by his legal representative at the internal disciplinary hearings. Is an employee entitled to representation at a disciplinary hearing? If you’re asked to go to a disciplinary meeting, you have the right to be accompanied by: You don't usually have a right to bring anyone else. In the cases of SMEs, where in most cases there is no union representation, the trade union representative will be an official outside of the company. The rights of the shop stewards (The Labour Relations Act, No. What role does a Trade Union Representative have at a disciplinary investigation? An official of a trade union whom the union has certified in writing as having experience of, or as having received training in, acting as a worker’s companion at disciplinary or grievance hearings; A work colleague; A trade union 'official' has a particular statutory meaning and must either be an 'officer' of a trade union, or someone who has been properly elected or appointed to be a representative of its … Employees have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing. Despite having an "at-will" workforce, the majority of collective bargaining agreements prohibit an employer from disciplining at-will employees unless they can show "just cause." The Trade Union Representative can present and/or sum up your employee’s and say things to support their case. The union doesn't have to be recognised by your employer. Advice for people affected by child abuse. (Paragraph 16, ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures) You don’t need to be a member of a trade union. Please read our data protection and privacy policy before continuing using our website. The employee attempted to attend a reconvened disciplinary hearing with a representative from a trade union that the company did not recognise. If so, you should contact … Introduction to the Citizens Advice service, Future of advice: our strategic framework 2019-22, an initial meeting where your employer tries to find out what happened, talk things over with you during the hearing, when everyone involved is usually at work and available, within 5 working days of when the meeting was originally due to take place. Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 [LRA] provides that an employee is entitled to the assistance of a trade union representative or a fellow employee.. Who is a trade union representative? A union owes a duty of fair representation to all of the workers it represents. For example, in the case of Molope vs Mbha and others (2005, 3 BLLR 267) the Labour Court found that employees are entitled to be represented by a colleague, lawyer or union official. Advice can vary depending on where you live. Your employer doesn’t have to let you be accompanied unless you ask to be. Can an employer refuse to reschedule a disciplinary hearing if the employee’s chosen trade union representative is unavailable? They can confer during the hearing but cannot answer questions on their behalf. If your employer refuses a reasonable request to be accompanied by a colleague, trade union representative or official, you should point out that you have a legal right to be accompanied. They can choose to be accompanied by a co-worker or a union representative. This duty requires that the union act fairly, impartially, and without ill will or discrimination when pursuing a worker’s grievance or when negotiating a new contract with the employer. The Trade Union officials are normally very balanced and objective, and providing you follow our guidance in relation the meeting there is nothing to be concerned about. We get asked HR related questions every day and each week we will be sharing our top question of the week that we have been asked here at The HR Booth. There is no reason why you cannot engage the services of a … The Supreme Court case of National Labor Relations Board v.Weingarten, decided in 1975, established this basic entitlement and the procedures for when and how union reps may participate in interviews. In certain special circumstances employees are entitled to be represented at disciplinary hearings by external people such as trade union officials and legal experts. They might have a policy of allowing a wider range of people to come with you. This is because the range of activities in which a trade union official can participate on behalf of the union is much wider than for an ordinary member. 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In the case of NUMSA obo Thomas vs Murray and Roberts Alucast (2008, 2 BALR 134) the arbitrator found that the fraud-based disciplinary matter was not legally complex and therefore rejected the trade union’s claim that the employee was entitled to be represented by an external trade union official instead of by a shop steward. This will also allow the employer to show that the employee received a fair process. Is there anything wrong with this page? You can bring someone with you to a disciplinary meeting. Thank you, your feedback has been submitted. For example, in the case of Talon Engineering Ltd v Smith, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that an employee, Mrs Smith, was unfairly dismissed when her employer refused to postpone a disciplinary hearing for 11 days so she could be accompanied by her chosen union representative who was unavailable until then. Claiming compensation for a personal injury, Help for victims of rape and sexual violence, Keeping your family in the UK after Brexit, Getting a visa for your spouse or partner, Discrimination in health and care services. A trade union representative can address a disciplinary hearing, put and sum up the your case, respond to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with you during the meeting (3). a trade union representative a trade union official If a colleague cannot go with you and you’re not in the union you can ask to bring a family member or a Citizens Advice worker. This ensures a harmonious and productive relationship in the workplace, where all parties know where they stand. When contemplating disciplinary action, you should begin by determining whether or not the person is a trade union official. At a disciplinary hearing the expertise, support and shrewdness of a knowledgeable trade union rep can be invaluable. The School refused. Taking someone with you is called the ‘right to be accompanied’. You should also check your contract and your employer's procedure on disciplinary meetings, as these say who you're allowed to bring with you. A trade union official can also be a co-worker, but this will rarely be the case for SMEs. This delicate balance becomes slightly complicated when Trade Unions, purporting to act in the interest of workers, get involved. An employee can ask an official from any trade union to accompany them at a disciplinary or grievance hearing, regardless of whether or not they are a member or the union is recognised. NHS Choices - Information on hospitals, conditions and treatments. Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help. Discipline a Union Employee Key Points. They can choose to be accompanied by a co-worker or a union representative. You be accompanied by a co-worker or a work colleague and workers have a policy of allowing a wider of! 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