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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49857
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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If an employee has been suspended on full pay, can they receive

Customer Question

If an employee has been suspended on full pay, can they receive the pay AND then work elsewhere whilst they are suspended?
We have a night worker, who does 4 nights a week and she was suspended on full pay.
We have just found out that whilst she was suspended, she worked elsewhere 5-6 nights a week, getting paid, thus getting paid twice effectively for some of those nights. Is that legal?
Also, we were not aware she was working elsewhere. Must they declare this to us? I am thinking how do we know if this person has had adequate breaks between jobs etc. What about the tax implications? Must they declare it so they pay the right amount of tax?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes please

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does the contract state she cannot work elsewhere?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ben, thanks for helping.

The contract states that she must get prior approval in writing before working elsewhere.

However, she was on full pay suspension. Does that not mean her terms and conditions are in tact in this period, meaning she has to be available to work the shifts she is getting paid for (even though she will not come in because she is suspended).

The point is, she got paid from us for shifts she would have done (were she not suspended), but then actually worked elsewhere for these shifts and go paid there too, effectively being paid twice. Surely this is not legal practise.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, it is indeed the case that the employee’s terms and conditions continue to apply during their suspension. Nothing really changes apart from the fact that they are not required to attend work and may have restricted access to facilities and other staff. So whilst it is not illegal to hold two jobs at once, if the contract stated that this was something that could only happen with prior approval by you, then the employee would have been acting in breach of contract and guilty of misconduct. Without that term it would not necessarily be an offence to work elsewhere as long as the employee is ready and available to return to work with you whenever you require them to. So even if they were on suspension and were working elsewhere, if you had lifted the suspension and asked them to return to work and they complied without any delay, they would not have done anything wrong as they have followed your instructions. So t is the clause prohibiting other work without prior approval which you will be relying on here.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ben,

Sorry, there's one thing I am not clear on. This employee was being paid to work elsewhere, say on Tuesday evening, but also getting paid for Tuesday evening on full pay suspension (which she would normally work for us). She got paid twice for the same evening, once from us and once from another job. How can this possibly be right?

This is true of many evenings within this period. The point is she ordinarily works on these evenings, so got paid for them on suspension, but choose to work them elsewhere and also got paid for them elsewhere. She got double wages.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Technically it is not illegal for the employee to be paid twice for the same time. For example they could have had their own business n the side and still have the same result - getting paid twice for the same time, so it is not illegal. Therefore, the issue is whether their contract prohibited them from holding two jobs at once or if she was unavailable to work for you because she worked elsewhere, although that would only be an issue if she was asked to work for you and was unable to do so due to the other job. However,as you did not ask her to come back to work. So your only option to take it further is if the contract did not allow her to have another job whilst she was employed by you.
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you