This question relates to UK employment. It is not about me (I'm self employed) but it does relate to someone who is known to me.
This person has been summoned to a meeting with their manager and HR because of irregularities in a couple of expenses claims. It boils down to their being no guidance on how to submit expenses and log expenditure on a company credit card either written or verbal, despite asking. The amount in question comes to no more than about £120 (give or take) and there is no question that this person admits they have made a genuine mistake and is perfectly happy to immediately repay all monies that were paid to them in error. It should also be noted that the errors were made several months ago yet no one in the finance department noticed and nor did the line manager. At best guess this is simply the employers protocol when there is a question surrounding money, and therefore these hoops must be jumped through despite the time and money they will take.
However, the person's manager is a bit of a nightmare. There have been numerous examples of their inability to actually manage and a tendency to act in a dictatorial manner. These people are all in their 40's and above, although that should make no difference. The manager has been insisting that this meeting take place as soon as possible and was pushing for next Monday (it is Thursday now), and the subject of this meeting would have been happy to do that, but they are allowed to have someone accompany them into the meeting, not as representation per se, but for support and as a witness I suppose. Unfortunately the people the subject would choose are unavailable on that day, and in fact the earliest day any of them can make is the Wednesday. Despite this the manager is almost on the point of insisting the meeting take place Monday, leaving the subject with no one to accompany them - something they are very uncomfortable about and I am inclined to agree since this manager has all but managed out someone in the team already (personally I thought there was at least a prima facie case for constructive dismissal but the person did not want to pursue that, and besides I'm no employment lawyer so I could be wrong).
I would have been more than happy to accompany the subject in this meeting but apparently it must be another employee, and I am not employed by the organisation.
I have two questions relating to this:
1) Is the organisation within their legal rights to insist that only another employee may accompany the subject into the meeting?
2) Can they force the subject to have this meeting when no one that they want to take into the meeting is available?
I wasn't sure if here or law.stackexchange.com might be more appropriate but figured that it made slightly more sense here. I'm happy to move the question if the community feels it would be better elsewhere.
I should add that the subject is home-based and therefore is not in the office very often so has limited interaction with people outside their direct team and one other which they work with.