Representation at Hearings


As a member of Advance you have the right to be represented at a formal disciplinary or grievance hearing by a Advance Consultant.

We hope that you’ll never find yourself in a disciplinary situation but every year many Santander/Geoban employees do – so it’s important that you know how to access our help just in case you need it. 

If you are required to attend a formal hearing it is important that you contact us immediately to arrange representation. Please call us on 01442 891122

If you’ve paid three month’s subscriptions (or one month’s payment if joining in your probationary period) you’ll be entitled to full representation rights. If you’ve just joined we can still give you advice and talk you through the process – so it’s still important that you call us for help.

The Right to be Represented

Your right to be represented at a formal Santander/Geoban hearing is set out in the in the policies which the Union has agreed with the Santander/Geoban.

You also have a statutory right to be accompanied at a hearing by a certified trade union official or a colleague (Employment Act 2002).

The Benefits of Representation

We will support you before, during and after the hearing. We will explain the process to you and tell you what to expect and how to prepare in the most effective way.

We have a detailed knowledge of the compaines procedures and can ensure that the hearing is run properly and that you are being treated fairly.

We can speak on your behalf and help to make sure that you’ve covered all the important issues. We can also ask questions and challenge the investigating manager and Chair to ensure that they have considered everything fairly.

We have a good knowledge of Santander/Geobans other procedures and an understanding of employment law. This can be useful in making sure that the person chairing the hearing has all the information they need to make a fair decision.

We cannot guarantee what the outcome of the hearing will be but we can make sure that any decision takes all the relevant circumstances into account.

After the hearing we can advise you of any further action you may need to take, for example, how to make an appeal.

In some circumstances, subject to the discretion of the Genereal Secretary we may consult with the Union’s solicitors if we feel that a legal view would be beneficial to your case.

Finally, we will provide moral support throughout the process. Sometimes it can be helpful to chat to someone in confidence and talk things through. Everything you tell us will be in confidence.

Who will represent me?

The Union has a designated team of Consultants who are trained to represent union members at hearings.

Our consultants work for the General Sercretary and  are based across the country. We will allocate the person who is best able to meet your needs.  Our helpine team will help make arrangements.

When should I have representation?

We recommend that you have representation at all formal hearings. We’ve listed all the types of hearing that we can represent you at below.

What should I do if I’m called to a hearing?

Santander/Geoban will give you written notice of the requirement to attend a hearing – at least 7 days  in advance of the hearing. You should call us on 01442 891122 immediately so that we can arrange for an consultant to represent you.

Representation is free for all qualifying Advance members.

The right to postpone a hearing.

Occasionally we may not have an consultant available on the date of your hearing. In these circumstances you have the statutory right to postpone the date of the hearing and to propose an alternative time (Employment Relations Act 1999 – Section 10(4)). The alternative time must be reasonable but we will work with your business to arrange your representation..

It can be tempting to agree to go ahead with the hearing without representation – just to get it over with or because you are told that the outcome will be the same regardless of whether you have representation or not. However, we strongly recommend that you exercise your right to postpone the hearing so that we can arrange for a consultant to represent you.

If you have a problem withe postpoing the hearing as your manager insists on going ahead, please contact us on 01442 891122 and we will ensure we take steps to address this and get your the representation you are legally entitled to.

What’s Santander and Geoban’s view of Representation?

Santandr and Geoban supports Advances involvement at hearings. This is why the right to be represented forms part of company policy. Santander and Geoban both want to be sure that hearings result in fair decisions and so values our contribution.

Being represented at a hearing will not be viewed negatively nor have any adverse impact on the decision.

Why is Representation so important?

The expertise and experience of a Union officer helps to ensure that there is a robust examination of all the facts – including information from our member that may not have been included in the evidence provided prior to the formal hearing.

This means that the outcome is more likely to be fair and to fall within the range of responses that have been given in other cases. This is in the interest of both the individual and the company.

Policies under which you can have formal representation

Advance can represent you at the following types of meeting:

Probation hearings: We recommend that you have representation even if you’ve been told that the outcome will be to extend your probation.

Disciplinary hearings: In relation to all matters relating to your conduct at work.

Formal Performance hearings: In relation to all matters about your performance at work

Attendance hearings : For matters relating to sporadic absence

Grievance meetings: Where you wish to make a complaint about something or someone at work.

There are other processes where we have the right to formally represent you - for example Job Security Appeals, Final stage Performance Rating appeals, please check with us.

In addition Advance can also give you advice and, where appropriate in the right circumstances support you at the following types of meetings:

Formal Absence Management meeting (Wellbeing Meeting): To discuss matters relating to long-term illness

SIU interviews: Fact finding meetings as part of a SIU investigation.

We don't attend these meetings as a matter of course, but under certain circumstance it may be approraite.  Please call our helpline if you are invited to one of these meetings so we can see how we can help


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