Employers have the right to suspend employees in certain circumstances where gross misconduct or even minor misconduct is suspected.
Often there will be contractual provisions or a policy regarding suspending an employee. It is not necessary however for a company to have a policy on this.
An allegation should be put thoroughly to an employee so that they know what they are facing. In most cases the suspension should not affect the employee’s wages.
A suspension should not be overly long and be proportionate to the relevant allegations.
An employee suspended on medical grounds must receive their full pay if they have been employed for more than 1 month.
Sometimes it is necessary to medically suspend pregnant mothers and they must be paid in full during this period.
In some cases an unnecessarily long suspension period can give rise to a constructive dismissal claim.
It is rare, although not unheard of, for employees to be suspended for very long periods of time – sometimes more than a year –when not a lot appears to be happening in terms of an investigation. An employee in this case would be entitled to make a complaint or submit a formal grievance regarding this.
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