Representation is only for Disciplinary Meetings

#HRFridayFact: Staff are only entitled to representation at disciplinary meetings. Though it may be appropriate to offer it at other times

There are various reasons that you will want to hold meetings with members of staff. It’s usual that meetings are held with just the employee, but for disciplinary meetings you must offer representation which can be either another employee or an appointed representative of a recognised union.

Investigation meetings during a disciplinary process don’t count as disciplinary meetings, and other than a note taker there should just be the investigating officer and the subject of the interview, whether that’s a directly involved party or a witness. It’s only at the disciplinary hearing, the point when the outcome of the investigation will be decided, that the subject of the disciplinary is entitled to be accompanied by a representative.

Whilst other meetings such as one-to-ones, appraisals, exit interviews, return to work interviews and investigation meetings wouldn’t usually warrant any accompaniment, you may want to consider it under safeguarding guidelines. So for vulnerable adults and the young, an “appropriate adult” is best practice. This could be a parent or support worker, or there may be a nominated person within your organisation that is willing to volunteer for this role.

We are often questioned as to whether an employee can bring a parent, spouse or partner to a disciplinary hearing, and whilst some organisations might want to allow this, it isn’t something we would recommend.

For any support and advice with disciplinary processes, including on-site support for interviews and meetings, call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail

04 August 2017, 12:37