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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49805
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am currently suspended a D&A test at work from

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I am currently suspended for failing a D&A test at work from a random test on 2nd May. I have subsequently learned I mistakenly took two of my partners painkillers by mistake thinking these were my own. I provided my employer with the ingredients of the tablets on the 13th May and at that time the HR Director decided not to suspend. I was invited to a investigatory meeting on Thursday 21st May (I became aware of this meeting at 01:22 by text). I was not offered a witness and was subsequently suspended by one manager on Friday 22nd May. Since that time my employer has informed another manager of the reason for my suspension and he has subsequently informed my managers who work for me. In addition my immediate line manager has sent me details of a job I would be suitable for outside the organisation from his own company phone. I feel my position is being compromised and my confidentiality has been breached. I have also had my shift allowance stopped during my suspension. Can you offer any advice on my options?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you tell me how long you have been employed there please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Since August 4th 2014, so under one year.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** address is***@******.***. Contact telephone number ***********

In addition I was informed by the HR Manager on the 13th May when I provided the ingredients of the tablet - I would not be suspended and the worst I would receive is " a slap on the wrist". What concerns me is the breach of confidentiality and the job details by text, all while I am suspended.


Shaun McCarthy

ok thank you for that information.
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. There is no right to be accompanied at an investigatory meeting. 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 main issue in your case is 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 dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you or force you to resign 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 the allegations against you were untrue you could be dismissed. Similarly, even if your confidentiality was breached you could still be forced to leave as a result or be dismissed and not challenge this. So a large part of what happens next is in the hands of the employer and how they want to proceed with this.
As to the pay issue, you have the right to receive your normal pay and benefits during a period of suspension. If your shift allowances were guaranteed part of your pay at any time and is considered ‘normal’ pay, such as it is included in your holiday pay for example, then you can expect tat during suspension too. Otherwise it would not be payable.
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
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