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Abstract

The Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004 provides data that, for the first time, measure the extent to which workforce representation is part and parcel of grievance and disciplinary processes in British workplaces. This article explores the impact of the introduction of the statutory right to accompaniment at grievance and disciplinary hearings on rates of disciplinary sanctions, dismissals and employment tribunal applications. It concludes that there is little evidence to suggest that either the right to accompaniment or the operation of formal grievance and disciplinary procedures moderates disciplinary outcomes. Instead, it argues that trade union and employee representatives may be influential in facilitating the resolution of workplace disputes.