You may decide it is necessary to suspend an employee from work whilst a serious disciplinary matter is investigated. Suspension should not be used as a disciplinary sanction, if an employee is suspended, it is not an indication of guilt.

Most disciplinary procedures will not require suspension. An employee will usually be able to continue doing their normal role while the matter is investigated. Suspension should never be an automatic approach when dealing with a potential disciplinary matter.

The right to suspend an employee is normally set out in the contract of employment or employee handbook. Usually, a period of suspension will be on full pay, unless the contract of employment provides otherwise.

Why would you want to suspend an employee?
The reasons why you might suspend an employee could include:

• to highlight to the employee the seriousness of the matter and potential breakdown of trust;
• to immediately stop the employee carrying on the gross misconduct that is being alleged;
• to stop the employee interacting with other employees or clients/customers, which may otherwise cause a detrimental effect of the business;
• to enable you to properly investigate the potential disciplinary matter without any hindrance;

How long should the suspension last?
Any suspension should be for the shortest period of time whilst an investigation takes place, and you should regularly update your employee as to how long the suspension is likely to last.
If you suspend an employee without any reasonable grounds to do so, or you take an inordinate amount of time to carry out an investigation (without explanation), the employee may have a case for constructive dismissal.

To find out more about when to consider suspension and the correct process to follow, please speak to a member of the Solve. Team.