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Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

letter enclosing workplace companion confidentiality agreement
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Letter enclosing workplace companion confidentiality agreement

Letter enclosing workplace companion confidentiality agreement

Where you require a workplace companion to a disciplinary or grievance hearing to sign a confidentiality agreement, use our covering letter to issue that document to them.

Statutory right

A worker has a statutory right to be accompanied to a disciplinary, grievance or appeal hearing by either a work colleague or a trade union official (whether the worker is a member of the trade union or not). In certain circumstances, such as where the workplace is small and the choice of companion is limited, you may decide to go further than the statutory right and allow the worker to be accompanied by a relative or friend. The companion is permitted to address the hearing to put and sum up the worker’s case, respond on behalf of the worker to any views expressed at the hearing and confer with the worker during the hearing. However, they’re not permitted to answer questions on behalf of the worker, address the hearing if the worker doesn’t want them to or prevent you from explaining the company’s case. This is all covered in our Workplace Companion Confidentiality Agreement, which also contains confidentiality undertakings aimed at ensuring the companion doesn’t go shooting their mouth off to other work colleagues or outside third parties about what’s going on or trying to discuss the case with, say, witnesses involved. This helps ensure that the confidentiality of the employee at the centre of the disciplinary allegations, or who raised the grievance, is protected.

Cover letter

Our Letter Enclosing Workplace Companion Confidentiality Agreement draws the terms of the agreement to the companion’s attention and asks them to sign and return it before the hearing takes place. On a practical point, always enclose two copies of the agreement so that the companion can retain one and then sign and return the other to you for your records. If the companion has any queries on the document, deal with them promptly. If the companion refuses to sign the agreement, be aware that you cannot prevent them from acting as a companion on this ground if it would contravene the worker’s statutory right to be accompanied. However, where you have gone further than the statutory right and allowed the worker to be accompanied by an outside third party, you can make this conditional on signing the document.

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