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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49796
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can you advise me? If I work for the NHS and have been suspended

Customer Question

Can you advise me? If I work for the NHS and have been suspended and have never been issued a contract what is my position? I realise that after a period of 8mths I may imply that there is a contract. What is not stated is the terms of the contract. Some allegations made I believe can not be fully substantiated. Can I argue the Trust breached its own policy by never issuing terms of the contract?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

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

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Hi Ben
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Hi Ben I previously did 20yrs Took a break of 5yrs then returned Sept 2013. I was suspended May 2014
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : You hav
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : i have been asked to rate you but I have not received a reply yet!
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Not certain if there is a problem with your system but I have received ten emails asking me to score you but my question is still not been answered. Regards
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Hi Ben not sure if it would help for you to state a time when you could be online to chat. Regards
Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry there have been some technical issues, where rating requests were erroneously sent and I was also not advised you had replied. Apologies for the subsequent delays, I have seen your response now so please find my answer below.

The law does not require the employer to issue you with a contract of employment, although there is a duty on employers to issue you with a written statement of employment particulars, which is similar to a contract, although not quite the same. More details here:

The issue is you cannot just make a claim against the employer for not issuing you with such a statement and all you can do in your case is to remind them of this duty.

As to the suspension and your rights related to 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.

The main issue is that your legal rights are rather limited at present, even if the employer has suspended you for an incorrect reason and even if that was due to not being issued with a contract or a statement as above.

This is because until 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. This means that your employer can dismiss you 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 in the worst case scenario they could consider dismissal without you having any comeback I’m afraid. Hopefully it won’t come to that but bear that in mind when you consider your rights in this case.

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

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Are you NHS knowledgeable? Within there own guidelines it states they must have issued the contract within 2mths, How can it be that they do not need to exercise a fair, just and reasonable process and can just dismiss an innocent individual? I took out a grievance for bullying and harassment prior to dismissal against 5 individuals. I believe the response wuss to suspend me because I reported individuals to the CEO who took note.
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : thank you for your advice regards Diana
Ben Jones :

Whether the NHS guidelines state that or not does not change your legal position in terms of dismissal I'm afraid - that is governed by law, not internal procedures so your rights in that respect would remain unchanged unfortunately

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Ok! If I can prove the bullying and harassment and discrimination which I believe I can. They would need to drop the suspension against me.? Remember I have full support from the Chief Executive. By the way can I call her has a witness? I have just been advised by unite union that they would not provide me with legal representation. Hence the questions. I might just seek legal advice outside of NHS. I am writing to Senior persons inc Secretary of Health re the level of harassment and bullying in the NHS. A tall order but I am willing to go all the way! Thanks for your time.
Ben Jones :

you cannot force them to drop the suspension and if they do not then your only way of challenging it is the constructive dismissal, which you cannot claim, or discrimination but you mst show it was for one of the reasons mentioned above

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Have you misunderstood me Ben? I have not stated being "forceful" regarding dropping the suspension. The investigation process needs to continue in order for exposure of what is happening. I am intellectually stimulated to challenge the institution regarding the injustice i have been served since my return. Thanks regardless for your information.
Ben Jones :

hi, what I was saying is that the employer decides whether to drop the suspension or not. So even if you believe that they should, they do not have to, even if you prove that there was bullying. So that is what I meant by saying you cannot then force them to remove the suspension and allow you to work - they can still technically leave you suspended and you cannot challenge that unless you can resign and claim constructive dismissal which is not an option, or if you can show there was discrimination based on one of the grounds I mentioned above - hope this clarifies?

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Ok thank you
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Effectively the law does not protect me, but protects the employer!
JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : I fully understand all that you have stated Ben thanks
Ben Jones :

not fully, but you have limited rights at this stage due to your length of service, but you are till protected against discrimination but it has to be for the reasons I mentioned earlier

JACUSTOMER-kzfvqliv- : Ok
Ben Jones :

Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks