Like all unions, Advance can only help existing members. Representing members at hearings is one of the most critical tasks in which our members place their trust in us. We are very proud of our strong track record. The union consultants are trained to a professional level to ensure your employer fully understands your case before making a decision. They will highlight policy points, precedents and employment law. Our focus is you are treated fairly.
As an Advance Union member, you have the right to be represented at a formal disciplinary or grievance hearing by an Advance Consultant. When you contact us, we will appoint the most appropriate consultant to ensure we get you the best possible outcome.
Should you find yourself under investigation or subject to a formal meeting, which unfortunately some employees do, it’s essential to know how to find access to advice, guidance and representation.
You should contact us immediately to arrange representation if you are required to attend a formal hearing or fact find. Please don’t leave it to the last minute!
You will be entitled to representation if you have paid at least three months’ subscription; however, if you have just joined, we can give you telephone advice– so the sooner you call us, the quicker we can help.
We will support you before, during and after the hearing. We will discuss in full with you offline what Santander will be considering and help you prepare your case. We will explain the process to you and tell you what to expect and how to prepare most effectively.
During any formal meeting, we can speak on your behalf to ensure that you have covered all the critical issues, including relevant mitigation. We can also ask questions and challenge the investigating manager and Chair, to ensure that they have considered everything reasonably.
We have a good knowledge of Santander policy and employment law. We ensure that the person chairing the hearing has all the information they need to make a fair decision.
We will be aware of any precedents and principles set by the business and can ensure the Chair is familiar before making a decision.
We cannot guarantee the outcome of the hearing, but we can ensure that any decision considers all the relevant circumstances.
After the hearing, we can advise you of any further action you may need to take, for example, reviewing the merits of any appeal. We can also help prepare it and attend with you at the hearing.
In a few exceptional circumstances and at the absolute discretion of the General Secretary, we may consult with the Union’s solicitors if we feel that a legal view would benefit your case.
Finally, we will provide moral support throughout the process. Sometimes, it can be helpful to chat with someone and talk things through confidently. Everything you tell us will be confidential.
Overall evidence shows that attending with an experienced and knowledgable representative is significantly more likely to result in a fair outcome for our members.
It’s essential to contact us straight away in complete confidence so that we can arrange the most appropriate representation.
You can complete the online form above or call our helpline on 01442 891122.
Advance Consultants provide a dedicated resource for helping individual members. They represent members at formal hearings such as disciplinary, performance or attendance meetings. They also support members in resolving workplace issues. You can speak to a consultant in total confidence; they will listen to your concerns and provide advice on how to deal with your situation. Advance Union will not contact anyone at Santander to discuss your issue without your consent.
If you have a hearing, your consultant will support you throughout the process. They will ensure our jointly agreed procedures conduct your hearing and that your case is fully present. They completely understand their role and have many years of experience, with most serving at least ten years or more. They can thoroughly discuss with you what to expect and help assess the implications of any decisions you may need to make whilst leaving you to decide what’s suitable for you. They will, if necessary, help you submit an appeal.
Occasionally we may not have a suitable representative available on your hearing date. In such circumstances, you have the right to postpone the hearing date and agree to an alternative date and time (Employment Relations Act 1999 – Section 10(4)). The alternative time must be reasonable, but we will work with the business to arrange your representation.
It can be tempting to agree to go ahead with the hearing without representation. However, we strongly recommend you exercise your right to postpone the hearing to enable a consultant to represent you.
If you have a problem with postponing the hearing or if your manager insists on going ahead, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01442 891122, and we will ensure we take steps to address it.
We want to ensure you have the best possible support and only allow anyone to attend that have had the appropriate training.
Our workplace representatives are not all trained and could have recently been elected to Advance Union or decided they would prefer not to attend with members. They will signpost you to our office team, who will coordinate support from any appropriate consultant. We want to ensure anyone attending with you has the knowledge and confidence to provide you with the proper support and guidance. Don’t hesitate to contact the union office on 01442 891122 to arrange any assistance.
Your Advance consultant will guide you through the process.
Our office team will also arrange for you to update Advance Union with any information you need to help support this process as required.
We also recommend you read the policy and guidelines relevant to your case, which you can see on AskHR or if you don’t have access, the Advance Union office can send you the latest version.
Most importantly, you must look after your well-being. If you need support to help you through this challenging period, please seek the support Advance Union and Santander can provide to help you if you are upset or distressed.
Start by chatting with your consultant, who can help signpost relevant support.
We have an agreement to attend fact-find meetings, in which non-recognised unions cannot participate but Advance Union can attend to support our members.
We often attend informal discussions with members to help resolve issues linked to workplace conflict, and many managers support this approach as we are a recognised union.
However, we would not usually attend “Business as Usual” meetings, such as return to work or one-to-ones.
Santander adapted virtual meetings to assist business continuity during the coronavirus pandemic. They still sometimes propose formal meetings where it is pragmatic using remote tools.
Advance believes that hearings that can significantly impact your career should be face-to-face. However, we always listen to our member’s preferences in these circumstances and ensure it takes place in the format they prefer. We are pragmatic and will use tools like zoom and teams along with the phone to discuss and prepare for hearings beforehand.
We do recognise that some may prefer the use of remote meetings to remove the additional pressures of travel and the need to reschedule. Advance Union will always work with our members to ensure the meeting format is one they are most comfortable with overall.
A formal hearing or meeting is part of an agreed process whereby the member has a right to have representation as in law. There are several different examples of formal hearings or meetings, such as:
Flexible working appeal
Job Security appeal
In addition, as a recognised union, Santander also allows Advance Union to attend several informal meetings, such as fact-find meetings and informal mediation.
Request for Advance Union to represent you.
Join us today
Take the best decision in your career and join us today. At £6.70 per month, we are great value for our members. When you join Advance, you’re joining more than just a union – a community with thousands of members across multiple sites and branches. Together, we’re a loud voice championing the things that matter to you at work.