Hello how long have you worked there for and does your contract state you can be suspended without pay?
Thank you. The first thing to note 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. Also there is no need for the contract to allow a suspension to take place, that can happen if the employer believes the circumstances warrant it.
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 issue you have here is related to your length of service. If a suspension was unfair or unjustified then apart from an internal grievance, the only way to challenge that would be through resigning and making a constructive dismissal claim. However, you need at least 2 years’ service to be able to do that so in the circumstances you cannot challenge the suspension.
However, you will have rights in terms of not being paid for it. Any period of suspension must be on normal pay, unless the contract allows the employer to suspend you without pay. So you will be able to challenge the fact you are not being paid and argue that it amounts to unlawful deduction of wages and breach of contract.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the eights you have to take this further if you continue not being paid for the suspension period, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you. You would not be able to challenge being driven out of the company but you can pursue them for any pay you have not received. If you were not paid for suspension of for the notice period then this potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:
· If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);
· If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer;
· If their contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made; or
· If the employee has given their explicit written agreement for the deductions to be made.
If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.
If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:
1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals
2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.
Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.