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Suspension

Suspending an employee where necessary

When dealing with serious allegations it may be appropriate to suspend the individual involved pending the outcome of the investigation. It is important for employers to ensure that it is proportionate to suspend the employee in the circumstances as it is a serious step to take and may have implications for the employer/employee relationship going forward.

Suspension during an investigation should only be considered in the most serious circumstances. It can make the ongoing working relationship untenable as assumptions of guilt may be drawn, resulting in claims of constructive dismissal. Instances where suspension may be appropriate include where there is a threat to the business or to other employees, or where it is not possible to conduct a proper investigation into the allegations whilst the employee in question remains at work.

Any period of suspension should be kept as short as possible, and the employee should be given as much information as possible as to the anticipated length of suspension and their rights whilst suspended. Suspension should be with pay and the decision to suspend should be continuously reviewed. Suspension without pay is nearly always unlawful.

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