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advice regarding suspension from work.


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Hi all,

 

i'm ater a bit of help with regards to currently being suspended from work.

 

i was suspended a little over four weeks ago and i have not received information as of yet as to the specific reason i have been suspended for when i was given a letter and suspended by line manager who when i questioned what i was being suspended for said the reason would be in the letter.

 

upon reading the letter it states it is due to multiple allegations in to my conduct but no specific reasons or allegations.

 

It also states that i will be suspended without pay. however the current staff handbook / contract states that suspension WITH pay is a neutral act and makes no provisions for the employer to suspend me without pay.

 

since then i hav e attended 3 investigatory interviews regarding on shift eventsfor the week leadind upto my suspension but no details on what i have been accused of.

 

i spoke to the hr department on the phone today who advised me that they are arranging for a disciplinary meeting but couldnt confirm what it would be for and that a letter i will receive will outline what it is i have been accused of.

 

the information im after is if i have been suspended fairly?

 

does the fact that my suspension letter states without pay and contract states with pay mean they are in breach of contract?

 

secondly should i have been informed when i was suspended exactly what it is i am accused of?

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I agree with you that suspension should be a neutral act, which calls into question what your employers are doing.

 

People with more knowledge should be along later, but in the meantime could you tell us how long you've worked there please?

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated bit stressed out at the moment having next to no information from work and the prospect of not having money for however long the issue is ongoing.

 

biggest gripe is filling my days i've worked all my adult life and im bored haha

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Used to be a zero hours but this changed in the past year to a 4 hours a week minimum contract, rarely work under 35 hours.

 

holiday pay i receive for a week off is calculated at average of previous 12 weeks and having taken a weeks holiday not long before the suspension i received 35 hours holiday pay

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I think your pay should be calculated on the same basis as holiday while you are suspended.

 

Can you get hold of a copy of the discisplinary policy to refer them to? There is usually a clause in there about it.

 

What kind of work do you do? If it is eg caring they pretty much HAVE to suspend you while they investigate, no matter how dumb the allegation. Duty of care and all that. Other jobs, not so much.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Nothing fancy just retail.

 

and yea the disxiplinary process is outlined within staff handbook i have a copy which i can refer to.

 

the entry regarding suspension with regard to disciplinary process states word for word

 

Suspension

In the event of an allegation of gross misconduct, an employee may be immediately suspended from work.

 

Suspension with pay is a temporary measure to assist in the clarification of facts, collation of details and to avoid a potentially difficult situation or to facilitate an uninterrupted investigation process to take place.

 

Any decision to suspend will be confirmed in writing and such written confirmation will state that the nature of the suspension is precautionary, not disciplinary, pending the outcome of the investigation proceedings.

 

Suspension is a neutral act which does not imply guilt or blame and will be for as short a period as possible."

 

as i said the letter i received said i would be suspended withiut pay pending the results of a investigation despite what their disciplinary process says.

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Suspension without pay is almost always unlawful unless there is a written agreement that the employer may take such action. It is not just a BoC but is also an Unlawful Deduction under S.13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. This would be actionable irrespective of the outcome of any disciplinary action. The employer is denying you the right to earn - in effect punishing you before the conclusion of any investigation. You are also potentially losing any holiday pay that might have accrued whilst you are not working. You should be paid at the normal rate of pay during suspension and accrue holiday at the normal rate.

 

Are you actually aware of any issues which might have led to the disciplinary investigation? Anything which might be construed as Gross Misconduct? Are you currently under any previous warning?

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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have you heard anything in the 4 weeks that youve been suspended. For retail, thats a very long time to be suspended.

 

What did you allegedly do for them to suspend you?

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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[quote=tricksterqt;4961588

as i said the letter i received said i would be suspended withiut pay pending the results of a investigation despite what their disciplinary process says.

 

 

as a starter then I would probably write a letter enclosing a copy of the relevant bit of the policy, and ask for clarification. Nothing aggressive, just information seeking!

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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still haven't got anything as to what i have allegedly done only what my initial letter said

 

"a number of serious allegations have been brought to our attention regarding your conduct in the workplace. we are under a duty to fully and properly investigate these allegations.

 

we are therefore suspending you without pat pending the results of this investigation"

 

i do have an inkling what it could br to do with as i said i work in retail which involves cashing up tills. a few days before this suspension a team members till was down through her own mistakes, asked for the number to contact head office at the end of her shift, i couldnt exactly refuse to provide her with said contact details.

 

i've had no contact from the company for 2 weeks now i've had to contact them myself only for the hr reps to tell me they cant tell me specifically what the allegations are, spoke again this morning which is the 5th instance to be told again that it has somethibg to do with cash handling procedures but that i will find out the specific nature when i receive a letter for a disciplinary meeting, said i think i have been suspended unfairly and why and the rep said she cant do anything and i need to point these out at a disciplinary meeting.

 

having been involved in disciplinaries before the people who will be at the m.eeting will most likely be 2 store managers. who will havr no clue about employment or contract law

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As it is mandatory for a company to disclose its head office details as a limited company under the Companies Act, not only are you not doing anything wrong you are actually only obeying that piece of legislation. It would be really hard going for the company to defend its actions by disciplining a person for following the rule of law so when this comes to a head make sure that you have someone present to write down everything that is said as you can bet that minor details like this will be left out of the official log. Sometimes, when managers do something stupid, their bossess will move heaven and earth tocover up those errors even if it meand sacking a more junior person and having the whole thing dragged off to a tribunal. The reason they do this is because they were once in that position and probably employed the more junior manager but also because their managers will be after them if it becomes public. They are all afraid for their jobs

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Well today is the 4th day this week that i've tried contacting their hr derparment in an effort to deal woth the same individual. as with yesterday apparently the hr assistant who i spoke isnt in the office until later so im awaiting a call back, as this is what i was told yesterday and never received one im not holding my breath..

Considering the hr assistant in question happens to be the daughter of the companys owner i would expect her to at least be slightly versed in contract ot employment law yet obviousluly not.

 

i quoted how the unpaid suspension could be deemed unlawful yesterday when i spoke to their hr department attempting to deal with the same individual.

 

 

 

Given how long this has taken so far im not holding my breath for a speedy resolution, whole thing has made me already seek another job, even if i dont receive a sanction it still affects my reputation in the workplace.

 

youd think that theyd want it sorting quite speedy and the risk of legal implications being minimised but alas i guess its too much to hope for your employer tp be competent. all im concerned about is not being paid amd being unable to support myself. if they confirmed today they were going to pay me correctly for my suspension i wouldn't be arsed about any consequences from a potential disciplinary. even if it is a pain i can always get another job. yet being stuck with nothing to keep your mind occupied gets you worrying how you're going to cope when you have no money coming in, cant claim benefits etc.

 

also apologies for any grammar/punctuation errors i'm typing on a phone with a smashed screen.

Edited by tricksterqt
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Put your queries in writing, by post, the old fashioned way. Don't rely on calls being returned or even understood.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Got some headway, got a date for a hearing which bis to be chaired by the companies head of operations apparently been accused of not putting things through till correctly i know im not in the wrong so im going to attend the meeting, sifting through the "evidence" since i asked for them to email aswell as mailing it..

 

funnily the letter says they are using cctv as the evidence but theres non with the rest in the email. hopefully they have sent a hard copy with the snail mail, if not would the lack of that invalidate any disciplinaty measures?

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Sorry to hear you are in this situation,

it may be to your benefit to join the relevant trade union for your type of job, for a relatively small monthly sum you would have access to a union representative who can accompany you to any hearing if you request. and he/she will have access to professional advice from Employment solicitors who work for the union at no additional cost to you.

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Skimming through your case, your employer acts illegally in failing to provide you with the specific reasons of suspension from the very beginning and in failing paying you. It looks like malicious conspiracy to get you out because nothing serious seemed to happened and I assume that after 6 years you know your how to do your job. Have you put the above in writing yet? It's crucial to hand it to the disciplinary panel and it would be helpful if you have somebody with you as a support. In a long term, wouldn't be better for you to find another job since your current employer doesn't seem to play fair.

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make sure you have someone with you during the meeting, it is your absolute right in law to do so. Also you are entitled to see all of the evidence against you so they cant not show you the CCTV, even if they say they arent using it for their case as you can use it in your defence. If they refuse you are entitled to leave the meeting and demand to see the CCTV and will wait until they supplyit as a SAR if necessary. Again, they cannt deny that, it will only stall things and that wont do them any favours.

I dont see any need to be deferential to them any more, you already ahve a claim against them for unlawful stoppage of wages and probably the wrong over the CCTV as well so. If they atrent in a hurry to make good let them know where you stand. the worse that can happen is that they add a lot more money to the claim you will make against them anyway.

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another thing i thought of looking through their "evidence" is that the two people in charge of the investigation are my manager and his mamager. they have also provided statements in evidence wouldn't this mean that their conducting the investigation (i.e. interviewing staf to for statements) as invalid even if it isn't specifically spelled out in their disciplinary procedures?

 

also is there anything elsd i can quote to them i.e. specifix legislation or examples aa to why the suspension wothout pay is unlawful etc?

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further to this investigation notes for all statements apart from my own have been signed and dated by only the employee themselves where as mine (as is procedure) has bern signed by both myself and the investigating officer.

 

investigating officers signature is not on any other documents

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Suspension without pay is unlawful because it is a breach of contract. When you signed up to work for them you promised to work in exchange for money and accepted the conditions attached to that. It is unlikely that those conditions say that you will only be paid if they felt like it. Basically you are available for work but they dont want you to do any and that means they have to pay you anyway as you are making yourself available as per the terms agreed. So when they say your hours are 9-5 and may be adjusted to meet the needs of the company that doesnt mean that they can send you home if they feel like it. The alternative is thet they will have to admit that you are no longer employed and they will then be introuble for not obeying the law regarding termination of employment contracts.

As for investigations then it will say what the order of things are in your employemnt terms. So, unless the manager is investigating a complaint by you about themself then it is for them to follow that structure. If you think that the investigation is tainted by self-interest them you ahve the right to put this to a grievance and the next person up the line will investigate. If that is corrupted then normally there is a final arbiter set out such as a regional manager or HO human resources bod.

In the longer run showing that there is a conflict of interest by their methodology does you no harm, if they go for dismissing you it then gives a paper trail that they havent followed any proper procedure and if they set you back to work and pay you the backpay it wont damage your work prospects either, just theirs.

Concentrate on getting a letetr into HR about the unlawful stopping of pay and let the others hang themselves without your help..

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