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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was suspended from work 2 weeks ago

Customer Question

Hi. I was suspended from work 2 weeks ago for investigation of gross misconduct. I had been off work for 8 weeks with personal & work related stress. I went back using phased return. Once this was completed I noticed a change in attitude to me. I was told I was being monitored, which I understood, but that my team members & 2 other mangers were to give daily reports on my errors.
Although there were some errors I did point out that I had asked questions prior to this & followed what told. When asked to speak to my manager she informed me that if training wasn't the issue then she didn't know what she could do with me. As I perceived this as a threat I started to send emails that showed the wrong information I had been given. At no time was I thinking about anything else in the emails, I was actually scared. The emails do contain client information from what I've been told, I have not opened then at home & had no intentions to do so unless required to prove my case.
I know that my manager wants rid of me & I know that I should not have sent the emails to myself now. There are three other gross misconduct issues I know if in the company that nothing was done. Would you be able to let me know if there is anything I can do? I feel sick at the thought of going into the office for my meeting as everyone will see this. Any help would wonderful. Thank you ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Firstly can you tell me how long you have been employed there please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I have only been there 17 months. I know this means I can't go for constructive dismissal, I am unsure if there is anything I can do.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information please leave this with me and I will get my advice ready for you on how to proceed with this. I will get back to you ASAP There is no need to wait on here I will email you when ready regards Ben.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for looking at this for me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thank you I will get back ASAP.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks for your patience. the starting point is that being placed on suspension is not an automatic assumption of guilt and does not amount to disciplinary action. It is there to be used as a precautionary measure whilst an employer investigates any allegations against the employee. Reasons for suspending could be in the case of gross misconduct, breakdown of relationship, risk to an employer's property, their clients or other employees, to preserve evidence or ensure it is not tampered with, avoid potential witnesses being pressured or intimidated, etc.
During the period of suspension the employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations against the employee. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify the taking disciplinary action that could be the next step. In that case the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and be given the opportunity to prepare for the hearing.
On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should terminate the suspension immediately and allow the employee to return to work as normal.
The main issue here is your length of service. If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you or force you to resign for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).
If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.
If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for this. I will hand my resignation in on Monday, as I think this may be the only option I hav.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ok I hope it works out for you and sorry to hear you have decided it was the only option left in the circumstances