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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 61676
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Apparently, I (and my partner who has also been employed for

Customer Question

Apparently, I (and my partner who has also been employed for 5 months) am suspended for helping my partner with the take home task that's one of three stages of application. However, it did not specify this task is confidential nor that it has to be his own work. I am attaching the initial email he received with the task and the code of conduct they sent to us.Additionally, they initially advertised this job as 'work from anywhere' so in April I announced to my manager I would be moving to study to the USA for my second year (in September) and so I filled the form to change my working hours to American time zones and it was agreed with HR and my manager that I would be living in LA until the end of May 2020. Two days before my departure, they announced a new policy that people have to work from their home address only and they will be locating our laptops to check where we work from. Despite everything being pre-arranged they told me they won't be able to accommodate me working from abroad - it caused me so much stress and lawyer advices to make them agree for me to work from the USA in September. Then in October they changed their mind that I can actually stay there only until December. That was the point when I already paid for tuition fees, rented house for the whole year and withdrawing would be expensive.In October also, they reduced our benefits, including 50 GBP for food monthly on top of the pay plus flights to office once a month.
JA: Have you discussed the suspension with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: no The reason for suspension: using the referral scheme to provide an unfair advantage to candidates, resulting in personal financial gain
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employeee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The reason for suspension: using the referral scheme to provide an unfair advantage to candidates, resulting in personal financial gain
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I worked there for 1 year 1 month
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

Thank you. Could you also confirm what do you specifically want to know about this, please?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
If it is a reasonable ground for suspension and then what can I do for the second case when they changed their mind throughout the case
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

Thank you. Firstly, being placed on suspension is not an automatic assumption of guilt and does not amount to disciplinary action. Whilst it can lead to disciplinary action, it is primarily there to be used as a precautionary measure whilst an employer investigates any serious 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.

 

The period of suspension should be as short as possible and kept under regular review. During that period the employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations against the employee. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify taking disciplinary action, the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations and evidence to be used against them and be given the opportunity to prepare to defend themselves at the forthcoming 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.

 

They could potentially suspend for anything they feel is necessary. Also, unfair suspension can only be challenged legally by resigning and claiming constructive dismissal or if you are dismissed by the employer but for both you need at least 2 years’ service. Same applies for any changes they have introduced and if you disagree with them – again you need 2 years service to claim which neither of you have.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
How about the second part of queury - can they stop me from working abroad if they initally agreed to it, i paid for everything and when i moved out they changed their mind?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

As mentioned the only way to challenge this would be through constructive dismissal for which you need 2 years’ service. Whilst you can try and argue that it amounts to breach of contract, you have to show that it was part of your contract, rather than just a policy and also they are entitled to change terms from time to time, so you would only be able to argue they should have given you more notice, rather than preventing the whole change. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you