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How to deal with suspension pending the result of a disciplinary investigation

Author: Lavina Daryanani


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  • Consider whether or not the circumstances of the disciplinary issue justify a short period of suspension of the employee from work.
  • Take into account the provisions in the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures" that relate to disciplinary suspension.
  • Comply with any contractual procedures that apply to the suspension of an employee.
  • Ensure that the employee is advised that suspension is a neutral act and does not imply guilt.
  • Treat the matter as confidential, as far as possible, so as not to cause unjustified harm to the employee's reputation.
  • Keep the period of suspension under review and ensure that the circumstances of the case require its continuance. Do not allow it to become unnecessarily protracted.
  • Keep the employee updated in relation to the progress of the disciplinary investigation and any delays that may arise.
  • Pay the employee in full during the suspension, unless the contract of employment clearly allows for the suspension to be unpaid.
  • Be aware that, if the power to suspend is exercised without reasonable and proper cause, it may give an employee grounds to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Note that in certain cases a court may grant an employee an injunction to prevent their suspension from work.
  • Consider what action to take following the conclusion of the disciplinary investigation.
  • Hold a return-to-work meeting with the employee, if the investigation results in no disciplinary action, and address any concerns that they raise.