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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73942
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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If someone is wrongly accused of being drunk at work but can

Customer Question

if someone is wrongly accused of being drunk at work but can prove it was only strong medication taken for fibromyalgia and took the maximum dose which made her unsteady .Is it wrong for the company to suspend her for gross misconduct??
JA: Has she discussed the accusation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: with her employer
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: she is a nurse in a care home
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: she has attended a meeting to state her case but is still suspended
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Was the employer aware of the medication the employee was on? Please also tell me how long she has worked for the business

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
they were she disclosed this ant the interview. She has been there for 4 months
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
can you give your view on this issue
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hi just didn't hear from you today
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now.

Being placed on suspension is not an automatic indication of guilt and does not amount to formal disciplinary action. Whilst it can be the start of a disciplinary process, it is certainly not a given that it will end up that way.

Suspension is primarily used as a precautionary measure in more serious cases, whilst the employer investigates any allegations against an employee. Reasons for suspending could be in the case of gross misconduct; breakdown of working 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.

If the investigation provides enough evidence to justify disciplinary action, the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations and provided with the evidence to be used against them. That will give them the opportunity to prepare a defence for the forthcoming disciplinary hearing. They also have a right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

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, without further action.

So it is possible to suspend the employee whilst an investigation is carried out and until the employer has gathered sufficient evidence to make a decision on whether tis was in fact drink-related, or it had a more plausible explanation. However, that may not happen immediately and the employer may even have to go through a formal disciplinary to officially defend herself before a decision is made.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.