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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 55162
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a Service Manager supporting people with Learning

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I am a Service Manager supporting people with Learning Disabilities and other needs. I was suspended from work October 2017 for financial abuse, leaving my service users at risk, and some other issues. These incidents suppose to have taken place during the death of my mother when I was in Glasgow. I returned to work 23/01/18, no actions and proved I wasn't supported during this period, I sent reports to the company for each incident reported. The same thing is happening all over again. I was suspended again on Monday 19/03/18. I am still waiting letters highlighting the allegations. I need advice around this as I feel I cannot go through this again.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long have you worked for this employer?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have worked for the company for 5 years
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I cant at the moment as i am looking after someone, sorry reason for doing this on-line
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Are you still there Ben

yes still here just getting response ready

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
thank you

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.

Saying that, if a person is suspended unfairly, especially for a prolonged period of time, or as a knee-jerk reaction, there are examples when this has resulted in a breach of trust and confidence. In turn, this can allow the employee to consider treating themselves as being constructively dismissed and leaving the employer, pursuing them for compensation.

It is worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to take if you had to take this further legally. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
But my concern is that I had no actions from the previous suspension but I did get a final warning from the company. I have never had a verbal or written warning in my life, so i don't know what this means. Can they just dismiss me at the end of the day?

Well, if an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them the employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could rely on to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and that the outcome was one that a reasonable employer would have come to in the circumstances.

If you already have a final warning, then further misconduct could amount to dismissal but they need to prove that you have done something wrong, otherwise the dismissal could be challenged

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have never had a meeting or asked about the allegations made on Monday 19th, I will wait for the letter being sent to out and I may have to contact you again.

they have not formally disciplined you yet or investigated you which is probably why but they will need to provide details if they take it further, past just suspension.

Has this answered your questions for now?

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
many thanks Ben

you are most welcome