Right to be Accompanied – Constructive Dismissal for refusing employee’s choice of companion

Section 10 Employment Relations Act 1999 entitles an employee to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance meeting by a work colleague or trade union official.

In Leeds Dental Team Ltd v Rose, Mr Rose was invited to a disciplinary meeting and duly requested to be accompanied by the practice’s principal. The Practice refused his request because they felt the principal would be ‘supportive’ of the Claimant’s position.

Mr Rose went off sick and later resigned claiming that he had been constructively dismissed. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the employer’s refusal to allow Mr Rose to be accompanied to the aborted disciplinary meeting was a breach of trust and confidence and upheld his claim.

Following Toal v GB Oils Ltd (which we summarised here), this case is a further reminder that an employee’s choice of companion can only rarely be safely resisted.

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