Does an employer risk a tribunal claim if it suspends an employee pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation?
If an employee is suspended without pay, he or she can bring an employment tribunal claim for an unlawful deduction from wages, or a breach of contract claim, unless there is a clear contractual right allowing a period of suspension to be unpaid.
In addition, if an employer imposes an unjustified period of suspension, whether paid or not, it may amount to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence, entitling the employee to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal. Whether or not the employer is in breach of this implied term will depend on the circumstances of the particular case. Suspension of an employee may put the employer at risk of such a claim if, for example, the suspension is: without reasonable and proper cause; imposed in an unreasonable way; unpaid, in the absence of a contractual right for it to be without pay; or unnecessarily protracted.
If an employer wishes to suspend an employee during a disciplinary investigation, must it have a contractual power allowing it to do so?
For how long should an employee be suspended while a disciplinary investigation into alleged misconduct is carried out?
Must an employee on suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out remain available for work, or can he or she take a holiday during this period?
If an employee is suspended on full pay during a disciplinary investigation, can he or she insist that the employer communicate through his or her representative?
Should an employee be allowed access to the workplace and colleagues during his or her suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out?
How can an employee challenge a decision to suspend him or her pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation?
Will an employee’s continuous service be affected by his or her suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out?
Will it always be necessary to hold an investigatory meeting with an employee suspected of misconduct?
Who should carry out a disciplinary investigation?
Who should carry out an investigatory meeting with an employee suspected of misconduct?
If an employee's misconduct is the subject of a criminal investigation, can the employer continue internal disciplinary proceedings?
If an employee is charged with, or convicted of, a work-related criminal offence, should the employer conduct its own investigation before taking disciplinary action?
Do employees have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary investigation meetings?
Where, following an investigation, the employer concludes that no disciplinary action is necessary, what should it do with the information gathered during the investigation?
What should the employer do if new evidence emerges after the conclusion of a disciplinary investigation, before the disciplinary procedure has been completed?
Where an employer suspects that an employee is working under the influence of alcohol, what action can it take?
Can an employee who is a witness to an incident be obliged to provide a witness statement?
Can an employer anonymise witness statements obtained during a grievance or disciplinary procedure?
When an employee who is subject to disciplinary proceedings raises a grievance, must the employer put the disciplinary proceedings on hold?
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