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A suspension is when you tell an employee that they do not have to do their daily duties or attend work i.e. you exclude them from work, but they are still employed by you.
A suspension is not a punishment and it is important to tell the employee that it is a neutral act to ensure that you can investigate an allegation or ensure their health & safety.
Suspension may be appropriate:
Suspension may be appropriate in order to:
Considerations can include:
You could consider:
Process is key when it comes to suspending an employee; you need to be prepared and ensure that you follow the step be step process below.
You must confirm in writing what you have previously told the employee and confirm what the next steps are. Your letter should include the following:
Employees are generally entitled to receive their full pay and any contractual benefits that they are entitled to during any period of suspension
The only exceptions to this rule are where you have attempted to lift the suspension and the employee is not willing or able to attend work or there is a clear right to suspend without pay in the employee’s contract of employment
If an employee is off sick
Once you have concluded your investigation and you decide that the employee no longer needs to be suspended, you should contact them as soon as possible and ask them to return to work.
When they return to work, they should meet with their manager for a debrief before they are then allowed to resume their normal duties.
The return to work meeting can take place in the workplace or at an alternative venue.
You must always ensure that you protect your employee’s health and safety at all times.
Situations may arise whereby an employee is not able to carry out their normal duties e.g. they may be deemed unfit by a health professional which means that they are no longer able to work with a particular hazard or carry out a particular element of their job.
If there has been a hazard acknowledged, this should be removed as soon as possible without delay in order to ensure that the employee’s health and safety are maintained. If, however, this hazard cannot be removed straight away, you should consider the following options:
If the above options are not cost effective or not practical, you should consider suspending the employee on the grounds of medical health and only asking them to return to work when it is safe for them to do so.
If a situation arises where you have an employee who is expecting a baby or is having a baby, you must conduct a general risk assessment, taking into account any advice from a doctor or midwife.
You must provide the employee with an outcome of their risk assessment which you have carried out and if the risk cannot be removed, the reason why it could not be removed.
Where you have identified a risk to employees and you cannot remove this risk, you must consider one of the following options:
If it is not cost effective to consider one of the above options, you should consider suspending the employee from their work. This period of suspension must be paid and should continue until it is safe for them to return or until their maternity leave starts.
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