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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47334
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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On Thurs 13 I had a loud argument in my office with an other

Resolved Question:

On Thurs 13 I had a loud argument in my office with an other colleague - I was approached by the operations manager Dominic who told me that an investigation will be carried out and that a statement has been taken from the person (Tayo) who had an argument with and with members of staff that were in the vicinity. It came to my time for my interview and he once again explained that he is conducting an investigation into what happened and that Tayo has been suspended whilst the investigation is going on and that he has taken statements from staff that were in the vicinity. He proceeded to ask me version of events and I explained there was a long running problem with Tayo and that I complained to his line manager (Liz who was present at the interview) and I also explained due to the ongoing issues I could not comfortably work with him, he asked me did I feel that the matter was dealt with properly and I had to answer no, which I felt was unfair as the person was sitting in front of me, he then went through his pad where the statements were written and started questioning me about allegations that were reported by a person who he interviewed who was not there when the incident happened, I felt totally blindsided and was not prepared for any of that, because of those allegations I have been suspended. I don't know where I stand as it has come to my attention that Dominic no longer works there and I have had no formal update about who is gonna take over the investigation. I just don't know what to do.
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 have you worked there for?

Customer:

8 months

Ben Jones :

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 problem you will face is linked to 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 or constructive dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you or force you to leave 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.).


 


So even if you are treated unfairly, such as held on suspension for unreasonably long, forced to leave because of it, or even directly dismissed, you won’t be able to challenge it unless you can show one of the limited exceptions mentioned above applied. It certainly does not stop you from contacting the employer now to ask them on an update on the situation and what they plan on doing with you and this situation but just bear in mind your legal position as described above.


 

Customer:

So basically I have no recourse they can do what they want?

Ben Jones :

unless they are discriminating against you, or directly breaching your contract, I am afraid they can do due to you not having the required length of service for enhanced protection

Customer:

OK I just wait and see then.

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

Customer:

Yes you have thank you

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

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