Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
How long have you worked there for?
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Many thanks for your patience. The starting point 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.
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 terms of warnings it is incorrect that a verbal warning must be signed for and documented – if it is then it is no longer an informal verbal warning and will need to be treated as a formal one. However, the intention is that verbal warnings are informal ones, used as a first step for more minor issues and there is no requirement to document them.
In any event most of your rights in this situation will be determined by your length of service and the fairness of the employer’s actions and whether they can be challenged will depend on that.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have in this situation based on your length of service, 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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