Do employees have the right to be legally represented at disciplinary hearings?
Possibly, but only if you are a public sector employer and the charges against the employee are sufficiently serious.
In a recent decision involving a teaching assistant accused of inappropriate behaviour with a 15-year-old boy, the High Court held that the employee had the right to be legally represented at the internal disciplinary and appeal hearing (R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School). The Court took into account the serious nature of the allegations against the employee and the potential consequences for his career. The nature of the allegations meant that the School had a duty to inform the Secretary of State of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. This could have resulted in the employee being prohibited from working with children indefinitely, effectively bringing his teaching career to an end.