Understanding Suspension At Work

Suspension from work can be a daunting experience. It is usually a sign that your employer has concerns about your conduct or performance.

Introduction To Suspension At Work

Suspension is a temporary measure that your employer might take when they have concerns about your conduct or performance. In most cases you may not attend work or contact colleagues or clients. The purpose of suspension is to protect the employer, other employees, clients and the business while an investigation takes place.

Suspension can be a stressful and uncertain time, but it is important to remember that it is not a disciplinary action. Rather, it is a neutral act to enable an investigation to take place.

Understanding Your Rights As An Employee

Suspended employees have certain rights. Firstly, your employer must inform you of the reasons for your suspension.

You also have the right to be accompanied to any meetings or interviews that take place during the suspension. This is called the ‘right to be accompanied’.

Suspension from work

Your employer must also ensure that the suspension is not discriminatory or in breach of your employment contract. If you were suspended without good reason or without following the correct procedures, you may have grounds for a claim of constructive dismissal.

If you do not get the right pay you may also be able to make a claim for ‘unlawful deduction from wages’.

Reasons For Suspension At Work

There are several reasons why an employer may suspend an employee from work. The most common reasons include allegations of gross misconduct, serious breaches of health and safety regulations, breaches of confidentiality or security, or concerns about an employee’s ability to do their job.

Your employer should only suspend you as a last resort. If your employer has suspended you without giving a valid reason, you should seek advice from your union.

Suspension From Work: What Does It Mean?

During the suspension period, you should not contact colleagues or clients, or attend work. The company may ask you to hand over property (such as a laptop or mobile phone) and ask you to stay away from the workplace.

Suspension On Full Pay

Suspension on full pay means that you will continue to receive your normal salary.

Your employer will not be entitled to suspend you without pay unless there is a contractual reason for doing so. However, in some cases an employer is entitled to deduct pay if their contract with you states they have the right to do so.

Suspension Without Pay: What You Need To Know

Suspension without pay means that you will not receive your normal salary while the investigation takes place. It should only happen if your employment contract says your employer can do this.

A union can help ensure you get fair treatment. You may have grounds for a claim of unlawful deduction of wages if your employer has suspended you without pay without following the correct procedures.

Forced Resignation – What Is It?

Forced resignation is when an employer puts pressure on an employee to resign instead of going through the disciplinary process. This can be a form of constructive dismissal and is illegal.

Constructive dismissal occurs when your employer’s conduct forces you to leave your job against your will.

The reasons you leave your job must be serious, for example, they:

  • do not pay you
  • force you to accept unreasonable changes to how you work – for example, tell you to work day shifts when your contract is only for night work
  • expose you to bullying and harassment.

You need to have good reasons for resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.

It is not enough to claim that your employer acted unreasonably. There must have been a specific breach of a contractual term that forced you to make the decision to leave.

How To Navigate Suspension At Work With Union Support

Your union can provide advice and guidance on your rights during the suspension process. They can also provide you with support before any meetings or interviews that take place during the investigation.

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