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Trade Union Representative

Trade Union Representative

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We do not have any trade union on site but a member of staff pays a union fee and wants to bring a Union Rep into a disciplinary meeting rather than a work colleague. Where do we stand on this?

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By kluxon
02nd Jul 2009 15:05

Yes they can - the employee is entitled to bring an officer of any Trade Union who is authorised to represent people in disciplinary situations. This applies regardless of whether you recognise Trade Unions or indeed if you do if the official belongs to that Trade Union.

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02nd Jul 2009 17:09

Hi pidgy
As previous they can but they should be a member of the trade union that they bring, I have always asked to see the TU members card and the employees membership card and taken copies of these for my records because I had a case where someone bought their husband and said he was a member of USDAW!
Deborah

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By kluxon
03rd Jul 2009 13:48

Actually as far as I am aware there is nothing in the legislation that requires the employee to be a member of that particular Trade Union. Although why the Trade Union would representent someone who is not a member.....

All that is reuired under the legislation is I believe that the Trade Union official is authorised by that Trade Union to represent people. Therefore its fine to ask for proof of that.

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06th Jul 2009 14:20

It's my understanding that they can. I'm not sure how far you'd get asking for proof that they are a member of that union or that the rep is allowed to represent people. Many members don't have membership cards, or any evidence they're in a union, apart from payments on their payslip. if he's paying these by direct debit, then he might not have anything he wants to show you to prove his membership. my union doesn't provide me with any proof that I'm a rep, i wouldn't be able to show anything to that effect. but i can refer people back to our election results that prove i was elected to represent members.

In my opinion if you can allow this to happen, then do it. what's stopping you or holding you back?

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07th Jul 2009 11:18

The right in law is for an employee to be accompanied by a trade union representative or an official employed by a trade union. (Section 14 of new ACAS Code of Practice).

Every union official should be able to present their credentials - i.e. confirmation that they are able to represent in the situation. Failing that I would always advocate checking with the union’s regional office that the individual is who they say they are. I have never had a problem with a union when checking details – after all it’s in their interests as well.

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07th Jul 2009 11:37

The Companion may be
- a fellow worker (i.e. another of the employer’s workers)
-an official employed by a trade union
-a workplace trade union representative, as long as they have been reasonably certified in writing by their union as having experience of, or having received training in, acting as a worker’s companion at disciplinary or grievance hearings. Certification may take the form of a card or letter.

Some workers may have additional contractual rights to be accompanied by persons other than those listed above (for instance a partner, spouse or lawyer).

Reasonable adjustment may be needed for a worker with a disability (and possibly for their companion if they are disabled).

Workers may ask an official from any TU to accompany them at a disciplinary or grievance hearing, whether or not they are a member or the union is recognised.

Before the hearing takes place, the worker should tell the employer who is the companion.

The companion should be allowed to address the meeting in order to:
- put the worker’s case
-sum up the worker’s case
-respond on the worker’s behalf to any view expressed at the hearing
-confer with the worker during the meeting.

The companion can also confer with the worker during the hearing. It is good practice to allow the companion to participate as fully as possible in the hearing, including asking witnesses questions. The employer is, however, not legally required to permit the companion to answer questions on the worker’s behalf, or to address the hearing if the worker does not wish it, or to prevent the employer from explaining their case.

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