If deciding between moving two people, any actions and suspensions must be fair and reasonable –although the guidance does emphasise that you should not move someone who has made a complaint as this could give rise to claims for victimisation.
The suspension process
Acas emphasises that you should also make suspension as brief as possible. Having an employee suspended for a lengthy period of time always increases the risk of a claim for constructive dismissal.
In terms of what to communicate to the employees being suspended, Acas recommends you tell them clearly:
- What the investigation is about.
- Why they're involved.
- The reason suspension was chosen.
- Clarify that the suspension is not a disciplinary sanction nor an indication as to likely findings from the investigation.
You and the employee are advised to keep the suspension confidential – and, with this in mind, to discuss what will be communicated about the employee's absence, and to who.
During suspension, you are encouraged to keep in touch with the employee and support their mental health and wellbeing in order to meet your legal duty of care towards your employee. You should, therefore, provide the suspended employee with details on what support is available to them and give them a contact person in your organisation.
Whilst suspended the suspended person ought to receive their usual pay and employment benefits. Don’t withdraw benefits, such as company cars, where the employee usually has the right to make personal use of this.
If you have any particular queries, contact us to see how our specialist team of employment lawyers can support you.