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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Can I be suspended as part of a grievance complaint rather

Customer Question

Can I be suspended as part of a grievance complaint rather than under the disciplinary procedure? I was suspended 3 months ago for potential gross misconduct, told it was under the disciplinary policy, but have now been told it's being dealt with as a grievance, but I'm still suspended.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Hi Ben

Customer:

I transferred under TUPE in September 2011, service effective from July 2009

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline yesterday by the time you had replied. First of all it is important to note 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.


 


As to the reasons for the suspension, it is certainly not uncommon for someone to be suspended after someone else has raised a grievance about something to do with them. A grievance is a complaint by an employee and if the employer receives a complaint and believe that there are reasons to suspend someone whilst they investigate that complaint, they can do so. Eventually it could end up in disciplinary action but that is not of course guaranteed. You can however challenge the employer as to why they believe you are still under suspension after all that time and for them to justify the reasons for doing so.


 


Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer:

Hi Ben

Customer:

Just a quick clarification - when they suspended me they stated it was being carried out under the Disciplinary Procedure as potential gross misconduct, as their policies states it must be dealt with under this policy. They have since said it has been being carried out under the Grievance Policy all along - which does not allow for suspension. My question then really is can they suspend me under a Policy (Grievance) which doesn't allow for it? They said the Grievance Policy allows them to see if there is a case, though surely they have pre-judged it by saying at the start that they thought it was gross-misconduct before even looking at it?

Ben Jones :

It may look like a knee-jerk reaction by them but it is still important to remember that suspension does not mean you are guilty of anything - it is just a precautionary step. It is entirely possible for them to have dealt with this under the disciplinary policy first and suspended you, then transitioned to the grievance policy, after which ideally the suspension should have been lifted. It is actually still possible for them to go back to the disciplinary after the grievance investigation has been completed and they believe you have a case to answer.

Hope this has clarified your position?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46765
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben

Thanks for the info. I think it's difficult without seeing their policies which state they can only suspend me if it's gross misconduct, they suspended me under disciplinary but are now saying all along it is a grievance. Their grievance policy states if it is gross misconduct it is dealt with under disciplinary, and the only way they can suspend me is for this. It's difficult to explain but I appreciate your answer.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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