Acas has published new guidance for employers on using the right to suspend as part of a disciplinary process. Suspension is often touted as a neutral act – to maintain the status quo during an investigation and protect evidence, witnesses, and the business. However, it can feel anything but neutral to the suspended employee who may be entirely innocent of the allegations raised against them.
This new Acas guidance is a really helpful aide-memoire for employers to use alongside their own policies and/or to incorporate into them. Its guidelines ensure that employers carefully consider the reasons for suspension in advance of making a decision, ensuring that suspension is appropriate and justified in each case. The guidance offers helpful alternatives to suspension, such as moving an employee (either in terms of shift or site) and working away from certain customers or specific work/tasks (i.e. working away from stock if the allegation is one relating to stock going missing). Of particular importance is the message to the suspended employee that suspension is not an indication of guilt. Employers are advised to ensure that suspended employees are properly supported, that contact is maintained and suspensions are kept as short as possible. There’s a whole section on how to support employees’ mental health through a period of suspension which employers can draw on to improve their own practices.
Read the guidance here: https://www.acas.org.uk/suspension-during-an-investigation
Find out how we can help. Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department. Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].