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Suspending an employee suspected of misconduct can have a serious impact on their reputation, so it shouldn’t be automatic in every disciplinary investigation. Sometimes though, it is inappropriate for them to remain at work while allegations are investigated. So when should you suspend an employee during a disciplinary investigation and how should you go about it?
In what circumstances is suspension appropriate?
A proper investigation into allegations of misconduct is essential before an employer decides to dismiss the employee or take other disciplinary action.
In many cases, the investigation can be carried out while the employee carries on working, perhaps with an alteration to the role to avoid contact with certain colleagues, for example. Where the allegations are of minor misconduct, suspension would be disproportionate.
Suspension would be appropriate if the allegations against the employee involve gross misconduct, where if they were upheld, the employer would be entitled to dismiss the employee without notice.
An employer would be justified in suspending the employee where there has been a breakdown in the relationship between the employer and employee, and the employer has lost trust in the employee.