Suspended Pending Investigation Employment Law – Being suspended pending an investigation can feel like a stressful and difficult time and knowing what your rights are under employment law can be crucial.
Employees can be suspended pending a formal investigation if an employer believes that they’ve breached disciplinary rules.
An employer will rarely suspend someone pending investigation and if it does happen, it should be with full pay, and you should be told precisely why you’re being suspended.
However, you can be suspended without pay if it’s stipulated in your contract – but your employer has to be seen as acting ‘reasonably’ when doing so. If it doesn’t specifically say in your employment contract that they can do so, then you should receive pay while you’re suspended – and it should be full pay.
What Happens When You’re Suspended?
Your employer should explain what to expect when you’re suspended – you’re most likely not expected to carry out any work duties during this period.
You still have all of your employment rights during this time, though, and if you feel you’ve been mistreated or if you haven’t been paid correctly, you might have a right to seek legal action against your employer.
During the investigation, your employer should inform you what happens next, whether that’s a formal disciplinary hearing or if no further action is being taken.
Disciplinary action can be brought against an employee by their employer if they have concerns relating to their work, conduct, or any absences.
There are strict protocols in place that businesses must adhere to when bringing disciplinary action against an employee, although each business is likely to have its own unique code of conduct that they should give you access to.
The disciplinary hearing is an employee’s chance to set out their case, bring witnesses forward, and answer questions about their conduct, performance, or absence.
At the hearing, you can ask for a companion to speak on your behalf, but the employer is not required to allow this. If allowed, they can set out your case, respond on your behalf, take notes, and summarise the case.
Disciplinary Hearings – What To Expect
Once the formal disciplinary process has reached the point where the hearing has taken place, your employer should tell you how long the process will take and what to expect.
You may still be suspended during this time if your employer considers it appropriate.
There are legal standards that must be adhered to by your employer, although these may already be laid out in your workplace code of conduct (this should be made available to you).
The ACAS Code of Practice is considered the legal minimum standard that employers should fulfil, although the code itself isn’t a legal requirement.
If you appeal any decision and it goes to an employment tribunal, then any judge will consider if your employer has met those standards, though.
This applies to anyone with employment status, although employers should follow the same standards for all workers, contractors or freelancers if possible.
When it comes to your employer deciding on the action that they’re taking against you following the investigation, they should consider:
- All available information and evidence
- Previous action taken on similar cases
- Whether the action is fair and appropriate
If they have decided not to dismiss you from your position, then any decision should be provided in writing with clear and specific goals and a timeframe in which they should be achieved.
The decision should include crucial details such as how it’s been reached, and, if it’s a dismissal, the date of termination of employment and notice period (if you are being dismissed), and information on your right to appeal.
Suspended Pending Investigation Legal Advice
If you’ve been suspended pending an investigation, it can be difficult to process.
Employment contracts and legal issues can be confusing at the best of times.
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