Recently an employee was suspended from his place of work.  He was not consulted about the suspension, so his input was not considered.

The employee is now raising a personal grievance on the grounds of unjustified disadvantage.

This could have been avoided if the employer had sought the employee’s feedback on the proposed suspension.

Many situations arise in workplaces where an employee may need to be removed from the workplace. Such situations may be, but are not limited to: 

  • Health and safety grounds;
  • To protect other staff members;
  • Security issues;
  • To avoid the employee interfering in an investigation.

The point for an employer to remember is that a suspension must be substantively and procedurally justified.  This means an employer needs to have a good reason for the suspension and must also consult with the employee in question prior to making his or her decision.

The right to suspend may be included as a clause in an Employment Agreement, but it is vital that consultation takes place between an employer and an employee before any decision to suspend is made.

The employee or decision maker should follow these steps:

  1. Check the Employment Agreement for any suspension clause;
  2. Consult with the employee prior to making any decision to suspend;
  3. Advise the employee that you are considering suspension and ask if there are any matters the employee would like taken into consideration before a decision is made;
  4. Listen to the employee and try to remain impartial.  It may help to have a third party present to avoid any doubt at a later date about what was said;
  5. Make your decision and confirm it in writing, providing a copy to the employee in question.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.