I am often asked whether employees must turn up to a disciplinary hearing if required by their employer.
The answer is a big yes.
Think about it. The accusation against you is for stealing/harassment/poor performance, whatever. You are invited to a hearing, but don’t turn up. What will that make your employer think? They will assume guilt, that’s what.
Unless you really can’t face it (and have a medical certificate to prove your inability to cope with a disciplinary hearing), rock up and face the music.
If you are innocent, this is your opportunity to make representations as to why your employer has got it all wrong. If you know you are at fault, this is your opportunity to redeem yourself.
Of course, how far you get in redeeming yourself will depend on the seriousness of the case, but remember that being fired is a worst case scenario in the UK and reserved for only the most serious cases. Your employer must comply with the ACAS Code of Practice that sets disciplinary sanctions and give examples of when each disciplinary sanction might be suitable.
If you don’t turn up for a disciplinary hearing, unless you are seriously unwell, your employer has an obligation to rearrange it only once. If you don’t turn up for the rearranged hearing, your employer has the right to conduct the disciplinary hearing without you present and determine what it considers to be an appropriate outcome.
It may not be an appropriate outcome for you.
So turn up. It really is worth it.