Introduction to this document

Suspension clause

Where you have a reasonable belief that an employee may have committed an act of gross or very serious misconduct, you should give consideration to suspending them during the investigation and pending a formal disciplinary hearing. A suspension clause will enable you to do this safely. Our suspension clause also covers the scenarios where you wish to suspend the employee because you have reasonable concerns about their health or where you believe they are no longer eligible to live or work in the UK.

In suspense

Where an allegation of very serious or gross misconduct is made against an employee, you should carefully consider imposing a brief period of suspension while the case is thoroughly investigated. First, ensure you have reasonable and proper cause to suspend, which is normally usually decided after a preliminary investigation into the allegations has taken place, and this may involve holding an initial interview with the accused employee to obtain their version of events. Never suspend as a knee-jerk reaction so be clear why suspension is being implemented and ensure you have at least some prima facie evidence to support the allegations. Also consider alternatives to suspension before taking the decision to suspend, such as moving the employee to another role or another location (with their agreement). If you do decide to suspend, separately document your reasons. Suspension should be on full pay and the period of suspension should be for no longer than is reasonably necessary in the circumstances, usually no more than a few days and it should be kept under regular review. Whilst the reality is that you can probably suspend the employee on full pay without a specific clause, our Suspension Clause helps clarify how the suspension operates and it makes it clear that suspension is a precautionary measure and is not considered disciplinary action.

In addition, our clause permits a paid suspension as a precautionary measure where you have reasonable concerns about the employee's suitability or ability to carry out their job duties on health grounds and, as a result, you would like to obtain either a medical report on their current state of health or medical confirmation that they are fit to continue working in their job role. Remember that you owe all of your employees a duty to take care of their health and safety when they are at work. It also covers the situation where it would seem that the employee no longer has leave to remain or the right to work in the UK. In this scenario, we've reserved the right for the suspension to be unpaid where it later transpires that the employee didn't have the right to live or work in the UK during the suspension period. Finally, we've set out some other useful conditions in the clause to apply during the period of suspension, relating to remaining available for work, not undertaking other work, notifying incapacity and requesting annual leave.