For how long should an employee be suspended while a disciplinary investigation into alleged misconduct is carried out?

The purpose of suspension is to allow the employer to carry out a reasonable investigation. It will not always be necessary for the employer to suspend the employee while it carries out an investigation. If a period of suspension is necessary, it should be as short as possible.

The employer should ensure that the investigation is conducted within a reasonable time, and should keep the employee updated as to how long the suspension is likely to last. If there is a delay, the employer should inform the employee and provide him or her with an explanation.

The employer should review the suspension on a regular basis to determine whether or not it is still necessary. In Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust v Atkinson EAT/0058/07, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that continuing an unnecessary suspension constituted a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence between the employer and employee and was grounds for constructive dismissal.