Suspension is a serious step – it needs careful thought, legal advice and proactive management. Make the wrong decision and as well as irreparably damaging your reputation and employee relations, you could face a claim of constructive unfair dismissal.
Before every suspension remember:
- It’s a last resort – suspension shouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction. Only suspend where there’s a risk the employee could destroy or falsify evidence, influence witnesses or is a threat to your business.
- Think creatively – try and find workable alternatives such as homeworking, supervision or transfers to a different area/site or role (of similar status). If temporary tweaks can avoid suspension you’re expected to take them.
- Don’t ‘leave in limbo’ – proactively manage suspensions. Agree what should be communicated to the employee’s colleagues, clients and customers. Keep the employee updated on the progress of the investigation and provide a key contact.
- Pay and perks – continue with usual payments and benefits during the suspension period.
- Accurate records – keep notes of all conversations (verbal or written) on file.
See this recent case for more guidance.
Talk to us if you’re in any doubt on whether to suspend or how to handle a suspension lawfully.