What’s a letter suspending an employee pending investigation about their alleged misconduct and when do you need it?
This letter forms part of our suite of materials to support you where you have invoked your disciplinary policy and its process and decided to suspend an employee while you investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct.
It confirms that following earlier steps taken in your process, and according to your disciplinary policy, you have decided to suspend the employee.
It assumes that you will have met with the employee to inform them of their suspension prior to giving this letter (this is recommended good practice).
If you need to investigate a serious or gross misconduct allegation against an employee, it may be better for the workforce, the employee in question, and the business as a whole, if the accused employee is away from the business during the process. In cases such as this (and only if you’ve exhausted all other options such as placing the employee in a different department, for example), you can consider suspending the employee so that you can investigate properly.
It's important that suspension is not used routinely without proper consideration as to whether it is necessary in the circumstances of the case.
Suspending an employee without good reason can give rise to claims against you by that employee for breach of their employment contract (even if you have a contractual right to suspend them) or potentially, for discrimination.
Legal guidelines (the ACAS Code) also specify that suspension should be for as short a period as reasonably possible.
You should keep the matter under close review if, for example, the alleged misconduct is also a criminal matter and the police are involved.
It may not be practical to wait for the police investigation to be completed before progressing the disciplinary process. We recommend that you use our Speak to a Lawyer service in cases such as this, or if you are in any doubt as to whether suspension is appropriate in any given case.
Do not use this letter or apply your disciplinary process to anyone who is not your employee.