Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Can an employee have legal reps at a disciplinary hearing?

There is no general right under UK law for an employee to have a qualified legal representative at a disciplinary hearing. In Kulkarni v Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Trust [2008] IRLR 949 (QBD) the High Court refused to grant a declaration that a doctor was entitled to be represented by a lawyer at a disciplinary hearing.
However, employees may have a right to legal representation at the hearing in a few limited circumstances as a result of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School & another [2009] EWHC 504 a teacher was held to be entitled to legal representation at a disciplinary hearing because of the seriousness of the allegations which, if upheld, would have led to his employer reporting him to the Secretary of State as being unfit to work with children.

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