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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My husband has been suspended from work on full pay, but it

Resolved Question:

My husband has been suspended from work on full pay, but it looks like he will not be re-instated, he only has a year left till retirement what will be our next step from here.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has he worked there for? Please note I am travelling so no permanent connexion at present but will respond fully this afternoon
Customer:

He has worked for them approximately 26years, although the company changed hands over this period.

Ben Jones :

Thank you for your patience. 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.


 


Any period of suspension should be as short as possible and reviewed on a regular basis. A knee-jerk decision to suspend, without considering whether this is actually necessary, or if it could be avoided, could result in the employer acting in breach of the implied term of trust and confidence. This could prompt the employee to complain to the employer, such as by raising a grievance.


 


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.


 


If he is not allowed to return to work, then the employer would need to consider how to deal with him, most commonly through a formal disciplinary procedure. What they do will very much depend on the allegations against him. But in any event they need to follow a fair disciplinary procedure, including investigation a formal hearing and the chance to appeal. He has sufficient service to be protected against unfair dismissal so they have to show there was a fair reason for dismissal and follow a fair procedure. If necessary, if the appeal fails, he may also consider a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.

Customer:

The company he is employed with does not think he has done anything wrong they are a maintenance company with a contract for Aviva properties, and it was a top man from Aviva who asked for my husband to be removed from the premises. The company who employ my husband are sure my husband did no wrong but are frightened because they do not want to lose their contract

Ben Jones :

ah, that changes things somewhat. There are circumstances when an employer may feel forced to move or even dismiss an employee because of pressure from a third party. This pressure may come from a valued customer or from another third party that has a degree of influence over the employer, such as a supplier, the landlord of their premises, etc. Such a dismissal can be deemed fair because it would amount to 'some other substantial reason' (SOSR), which is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal allowed under the Employment Rights Act 1996.


 


It is generally accepted that the reason behind the third party's request is irrelevant and there is no requirement on the employer to establish the truth behind the allegations. What really matters is the how important the third party's continued business is to the employer and what risks there are to that relationship if the employer does not act as per the request.


 


For example, in the case of Dobie v Burns International Security Services, Mr Dobie was a security guard working for a contractor who supplied security staff to a Council. Friction developed between a senior Council employee and Mr Dobie, with the Council demanding his removal from their site. His employer eventually dismissed him. He made a claim against his employer, however he lost with the decision being that third party pressure to dismiss can amount to a fair reason for dismissal.


 


Employers must still act reasonably when dismissing, in accordance with established employment principles and would need to undertake some form of investigation and hold a dismissal meeting. They should also consider whether there is any other alternative employment that can be offered to the employee instead of dismissing them because dismissal should only be seen as a last resort. However, in principle, such dismissals can be fair.


 


So even though there is no guarantee this will result in a dismissal and the employer is expected to find him other employment to place him in, if that is not possible they could eventually seek to terminate his employment, which could be legal.

Customer:

He has had a informal meeting with his boss who says they could probably offer him zero hours work at a different site but there will only be a little work available occasionally, if they terminate his employment would he be entitled to any compensation or notice.

Customer:

Do you think he should look into early retirement or would he lose benefits from his private pension by taking it earlier .

Ben Jones :

if he was to be dismissed he would only be entitled to his contractual notice period, which in his case cannot be less than 12 weeks, plus any outstanding holidays. There would be no other compensation payable though. Early retirement is an option but he needs to check the specific terms of his pensions policy as each one varies so I cannot advise specifically if it would have any effect or not

Customer:

If he was dismissed would he be able to claim unemployment benefit for the last year of his working life, as he is adamant he does not want to take out his pension early. He does not want to take the zero hours work option.

Ben Jones :

yes he could still qualify if he is trying to find work but is unsuccessful, you could find out what he could get here:

https://www.gov.uk/benefits-adviser

Customer:

Thank-you for your help Ben. He still thinks his employer should have protected him more as he says they have now put in measures to stop this occuring again. A bit like shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

Ben Jones :

I agree it is just unfortunate that the orders have come in from a client rather than internally because in this case he is less protected

Customer:

Thanks once again will let you know outcome when he meets his manager during the week.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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