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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47337
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have was suspended from work on full pay on Thursday 13th

Customer Question

I have was suspended from work on full pay on Thursday 13th March pending full investigation into the allegation that I have engaged in offensive and intimidating behavior towards another member of staff. I am 5ft tall and 40yrs old next week.

I had a 2 year relationship with a work collegue which I ended 6 months ago. He has since started seeing another girl in the office. She was coming into my department to see my ex partner and antagonising me with looks and popping chewing gum bubbles as she walked past my desk so I asked my manager if she could stop her coming into my place of work. My manager promptly spoke with her manager and she was told unless she has a valid reason she should stay out of my department.

I havn't been told which one of them has made the allegation but feel it is an act of revenge to get me sacked from the company I have worked for for over 4 years.

I feel I can't defend myself as I don't know what they are alleging but I am 100% sure I have not done or said anything to be the victim of such drastic action. I am a very popular person at work and this will no doubt damage my reputation within the company and is extremely humiliating.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks
Julie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-cjg4wvst- :

I was a temp for 2 years and have been permanent for 2 years

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, please leave this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

JACUSTOMER-cjg4wvst- :

Thank you so much.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks 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.

In your case there has been an allegation made against you, but in the absence of any witness evidence to back up these claims and with the known history behind this, the employer should be very careful about how they deal with this and should not just make a decision based on a rumour. They really need to investigate this properly and assuming you have a clean record to date, they should not really consider dismissal, but may issue a warning to ensure there is no further animosity between you and whoever made the complaint. So certainly do not assume the worst yet and deal with the investigation which is the first step of a long process, which as mentioned may never actually get to the end.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks