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THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED IN GRIEVANCE OR DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS

The Employment Relations Act 1999, ss 10-15, has created a new right for workers156 to be accompanied in disciplinary or grievance hearings by a trade union official or a fellow worker. These provisions will allow a trade union official to enter an employer’s premises to represent a union member, if the member so requests, even where a trade union (or that particular union) is not recognised. Trade unions will now be able to market their representational services in order to recruit new members at non-unionised workplaces. This right may thus be of particular value to trade unions keen to attract members in order to apply for recognition under the new statutory recognition laws contained in Sched 1A of the 1999 Act (see Chapter 10).