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Rights to Legal Representation

When an employee has a formal disciplinary hearing there is no actual statutory right for them to have legal representation.

However, it has been argued that an employee’s legal right should extend to legal representation.

Currently workers have a legal right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union official of their choice at any formal disciplinary interview, but not to legal representation. 

Conversely, there is nothing to prevent an employer from granting a contractual right to legal representation at disciplinary hearings.

Doctors employed by the NHS are contractually entitled to be represented by a qualified lawyer at disciplinary hearings that are commenced on the grounds of capability or conduct. This is in order to “maintain high professional standards in the NHS”.

As an employee, whether or not you are allowed to be accompanied by a lawyer will generally depend on the individual facts of the situation.