The right to be accompanied in grievance proceedings

The recent case of Toal and Others v GB Oils Ltd reminds us of the extent of an employee’s right to choose his or her companion in grievance proceedings.

This case involved two claimants, Mr Toal and Mr Hughes, who both raised grievances against their employer, GB Oils. They were invited to separate meetings to discuss their grievances. Both Toal and Hughes wanted to be accompanied in their meetings by Mr Lean, an elected official of Unite (of which both claimants were members).

GB Oils refused to allow Mr Lean to accompany either of the claimants. Both were therefore represented at their respective hearings by a fellow worker, Mr Hodgkin…

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