Are there circumstances in which an employer can suspend without pay pending a disciplinary hearing?

An employer can usually suspend an employee without pay only if it has a contractual right to do so, ie it has reserved such a right in the employee's contract of employment.

Even where there is a contractual clause allowing suspension without pay, the employer must ensure that any suspension is reasonable in the circumstances, for example there must be good reasons for suspending the employee during the disciplinary investigation and the suspension should not be unnecessarily lengthy.