Suspension from Work

Caragh Bailey
6 min read
Suspension from work from Employment Law Friend

Being suspended from work can be nerve-wracking and stressful. It is important to remember that being suspended does not mean you are guilty. Being suspended from work pending investigation is intended to be as thorough and fair to you as possible. Below, we'll explain what happens, whether you get paid and what you can do if you think your suspension is unfair.

Suspension from work: Why?

When you are suspended from work you are still employed, but you do not have to attend your workplace nor carry out any work tasks. There are a number of reasons why you may be suspended from work;

    Medical suspension from work

  • When the conditions at work are hazardous to your health and safety, you may be required to stay at home whilst the matter is investigated and whilst your employer makes adjustments for it to be safe for you to return. For example, if you are severely allergic to a certain chemical used at work, you may be suspended whilst alternative working conditions are imposed.

  • Suspension pending investigation due to allegations of misconduct in the workplace

  • Suspension from work might be considered as a disciplinary procedure or if there are serious allegations of misconduct. If it is believed that you could tamper with evidence regarding the allegation, or influence or sway the investigation, you may be suspended. If there is a risk to other employees, customers, or company property, you may be suspended. (Click to read more about investigations at work)

  • The workplace poses a risk to a new or expectant mother
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have given birth in he last 6 months then you may be at risk. These risks include long working hours, exposure to toxic substances, and heavy lifting. You may be suspended if these risks can’t be immediately removed, if alternative work can’t be offered, and until it is safe for you to return to work. (Click to read more about pregnant worker's rights) or, (Click to find out about pregnancy discrimination)

What happens if you are suspended from work?

Suspension from work should be kept as brief as possible and should be regularly reviewed. You should be kept regularly updated about how long the suspension is going to last and whether it is still necessary.

Being suspended from work: What you need to know.

Your employer should provide you with a suspension letter that includes:
  • The grounds of your suspension and how long it will last.
  • Any obligations and rights during the suspension. For example; you would usually be expected to be contactable during normal working hours, and to attend any meetings concerning the investigation.
  • That the purpose of the suspension is to investigate, and not an assumption of guilt, if the suspension is based on allegations of misconduct.
  • Your employer must comply with the Acas code of practise on disciplinary and grievance procedures

Suspended on full pay & Suspension without pay

The pay you receive during your suspension from work should be equal to a normal week’s pay, including benefits. However, there may be a clear contractual right to suspend without pay and these can be found in your contract of employment.

You can be suspended without pay if:

If your suspension is finished and your employer asks you to come back you might refuse for two reasons:
    You are not willing to return to work because you are unhappy with the results of the investigation.
  • Your employer is not obligated to pay you any further suspension pay, and it is likely that you will face disciplinary action or dismissal. We recommend that you return to work and appeal the investigation or raise a grievance.
  • You are unwell.
  • If you are suspended and unwell, advise your employer that you are ill and would not be able to attend work if you were required, then you should still receive usual sick pay. If it lasts more than 7 days then a note should be provided by your doctor. If you are suspended on full pay then sick, advise your employer, you should still receive usual sick pay.

I've been unfairly suspended from work

The first stage in addressing unfair suspension from work is to raise the issue informally. Many issues can often be resolved by having an informal meeting with your manager or HR team.
For example: You disagree with your employer’s reason for not giving you suspension pay.

If you believe the issue can’t be resolved informally then you may consider raising a formal complaint or grievance procedure. This should be done in writing and highlight the concerns surrounding your suspension.
Only after trying to resolve the complaint internally should you then consider making a claim to an employment tribunal and for most tribunal claims there is a 3 month time limit to submit a claim. (Click to read about employment tribunal time limits).

Frequently Asked Questions
You can be suspended from work and receive full pay for up to 26 weeks as long as you have served one month of employment prior to the suspension.
Your boss is under no legal obligation not to tell other employees about your suspension from work. Your employer does however still hold a position of trust and should refrain from biased announcement or any suggestion of guilt. Your employer may decide to tell other employees that you are on leave.
You keep all your employment rights while you are suspended from work, even if you are suspended without pay as stated in a specific condition of your contract. If you don’t get the right pay during suspension then you may be able to make a claim to an Employment tribunal for ‘unlawful deduction from wages’.

Do you have a problem with your suspension from work?
There is much more to winning your case than simply being in the right, our specialist employment solicitors know all the laws and tactics, to make sure you get the best chance at a fair settlement. Get in contact with us and see how we can help.

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This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
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