Any employer can suspend their employees at any time due to misconduct or any disciplinary issues.
The reasons for suspension are usually set out in your contract or staff conduct manual – the terms of your suspension will also be set out – such as if you will receive payment or not.
Even if there is no mention of suspension in your contract, your employer can still suspend you if there is a good enough reason and the suspension causes no harm to you. for example, financial harm: leaving you without pay.
Employers often suspend employees to stress the seriousness of the matter and to reiterate the breach of the trust between both parties.
The employee can also be suspended to stop any misconduct continuing – this can apply cases such as fraud or other monetary issues.
A suspension can also stop you from communicating with your colleagues, and other staff members. You can also be barred from talking to your colleagues outside of work to ensure no further detriment to the business. However, if you feel that not being able to talk to them will somehow cause be unfair then you can dispute this.
Employers also use the suspension period as time for investigation for the allegations of misconduct.
Another reason that employers suspend employees is to remove scrutiny from the public eye or from the press.
Suspension from work should be as brief as possible to reduce the detriment to the employee.
As a suspended employee, you still maintain your worker rights. This includes if you are being paid – so you must be paid the correct amount. If not you can make a claim to an employment tribunal for the reduction in your wage.
If you feel like your suspension is unfair or your disciplinary issue is not being handled correctly you should then seek legal advice.
You can also be suspended from work due to health and safety issues. If your employer feels that your job is a risk to your health or physical health then you may be suspended on full pay.
If your employer finds you an alternative role, you cannot refuse it for suspension instead. This kind of suspension can last up to 26 weeks on full pay if you’ve been employed for at least a month.
This also applies if you are pregnant, except the suspension can continue for the entire duration of pregnancy.