Suspended with Pay for gross misconduct.

Was called into the office on 17th April for alleged gross misconduct, my employer then went on to say they are conducting an investigation and I should go with with pay with immediate affect, but they still haven't told me what I'm getting investigated for? is this correct? Many thanks I'm at my wits end.
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Comments

  • It must be a worrying time for you. 

    Have a read of this link:

    https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/terminating-suspending-job/suspension/

    Your employer should have given you a reason for your suspension. Is it possible that in the heat of the discussion you failed to pick up on why you were being suspended? In my experience, most employers will take contemporaneous notes of all discussions to see off a potential claim for constructive dismissal.
  • Bobbobbobingalong
    Bobbobbobingalong Posts: 125 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
    It must be a worrying time for you. 

    Have a read of this link:

    https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/terminating-suspending-job/suspension/

    Your employer should have given you a reason for your suspension. Is it possible that in the heat of the discussion you failed to pick up on why you were being suspended? In my experience, most employers will take contemporaneous notes of all discussions to see off a potential claim for constructive dismissal.
    That isn't helpful as it cannot be constructive dismissal!

    The best explanation of how, when and why employers can suspend an employee are contained in the ACAS guide https://www.acas.org.uk/suspension-during-an-investigation

    On completion of of the investigation you will either be re-instated with no action taken or you will be invited to a disciplinary meeting. In the event that it is the latter you will be informed what the issue is that they wish to discuss. That said, it is good practice when suspending anybody to give them a letter outlining the terms of the suspension and the reason for it - this also allows you to focus your efforts on the issue and prepare yourself for what may come next.

    I would contact your line manager if I were you and ask for confirmation of the suspension and its reasons in writing. In the meantime, if you are not in a trade union you might want to join for support in the event that matters escalate.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,840 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
    It must be a worrying time for you. 

    Have a read of this link:

    https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/terminating-suspending-job/suspension/

    Your employer should have given you a reason for your suspension. Is it possible that in the heat of the discussion you failed to pick up on why you were being suspended? In my experience, most employers will take contemporaneous notes of all discussions to see off a potential claim for constructive dismissal.
    That isn't helpful as it cannot be constructive dismissal!

    The best explanation of how, when and why employers can suspend an employee are contained in the ACAS guide https://www.acas.org.uk/suspension-during-an-investigation

    On completion of of the investigation you will either be re-instated with no action taken or you will be invited to a disciplinary meeting. In the event that it is the latter you will be informed what the issue is that they wish to discuss. That said, it is good practice when suspending anybody to give them a letter outlining the terms of the suspension and the reason for it - this also allows you to focus your efforts on the issue and prepare yourself for what may come next.

    I would contact your line manager if I were you and ask for confirmation of the suspension and its reasons in writing. In the meantime, if you are not in a trade union you might want to join for support in the event that matters escalate.
    Keep in mind this is a guide to what is considered good practice. It is not a statement of the law which must be followed to the letter.

    Legally, suspension on full pay is a neutral act. Unless it is wildly excessive or disproportionate, when it could possibly contribute to constructive dismissal, it is entirely at the employer's discretion. There is no automatic legal right to a written explanation of the reasons.

    If the matter were to progress to a disciplinary hearing then the employer needs to make a reasonable attempt to follow a fair process. Again, ACAS issue guidelines which it is generally wise for an employer to follow. However statutory procedures were abolished many years ago and an alternative process may also be fair.
  • Thank you for your fast responses, we don't have a line manager nor HR department its a Caravan Park. I put a grievance in last October against my supervisor for unfair treatment and recently brought up the subject where a colleague is using the drying room as his own personal space and now I assume he's conducting the investigation.  I just can't believe they can suspend you albeit with pay and just say its gross misconduct and give no actual reason, its a big umbrella "gross misconduct"
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,840 Forumite
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    Thank you for your fast responses, we don't have a line manager nor HR department its a Caravan Park. I put a grievance in last October against my supervisor for unfair treatment and recently brought up the subject where a colleague is using the drying room as his own personal space and now I assume he's conducting the investigation.  I just can't believe they can suspend you albeit with pay and just say its gross misconduct and give no actual reason, its a big umbrella "gross misconduct"
    How long have you been employed?

    Assuming it is more than two years then, as I said above, they need to follow a fair process. Less than two years and you have few rights unless you could show unlawful discrimination.
  • can i just give a brief description of where i work.   No HR department We only have one supervisor. Last October i put a grievance in against him for unfair treatment, 6 weeks ago a colleague is using the drying room as his own personal space, i raised a concern that we cant get our clothes dry (i'm a gardener) now this moment ive heard hes put a concern in that i threatened him which is not the case at all.  Another concern that the supervisor will lead the investigation, i've worked there 4 years.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,447 Forumite
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    Were there any other people present when this alleged threat was made?  If not, the company will be on very thin ice if they attempt to take any action.
  • i have no idea because i didnt say it, i sit in the canteen along with 2 other people and said person 
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,840 Forumite
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    TELLIT01 said:
    Were there any other people present when this alleged threat was made?  If not, the company will be on very thin ice if they attempt to take any action.
    Depends of your definition of "thin"!

    Legally, an employer needs to make reasonable (layman's) attempt to conduct a fair investigation. If that warrants proceeding to a disciplinary hearing then they need to make a reasonable (again layman's) attempt at conducting a fair hearing and allowing the employee to respond to any allegations. The employee has a right to be accompanied by another employee or an accredited trades union representative at the disciplinary hearing (but not at any investigation).

    The employer only needs a "reasonable belief" that the misconduct took place and if so, should they decide to dismiss, then dismissal needs to be within the "range of sanctions a reasonable employer might choose". That is all, they do not need anything like the criminal level of proof nor are they expected to have the investigative skills of Inspector Morse or the legal knowledge of a judge!
  • Well, it now seems to have moved on a bit as it would appear that you have been suspended for threatening a colleague. If you refer to the ACAS guide I linked to earlier, you will see that one of the justifications for suspension is protection of other staff, it therefore would make sense.

    If a fair investigation takes place, your colleague and you will be asked about the "incident" in question as will any potential witnesses. Essentially, given the information we have here, it will come down to one word against another. Quite whether or not that would allow a disciplinary meeting to conclude a reasonable belief it happened is rather subjective. To be clear, they do not need to find the case proved beyond a reasonable doubt, ie:- to the criminal standard, they don't need to prove to the civil standard of on the balance of probabilities, merely finding a reasonable belief is enough. If there are no witnesses, who do they believe, the other person (who wold appear to have a motive) or you?

    Should the issue progress to a formal disciplinary, you have the right to see the "evidence" against you, which may not be physical as such, maybe just minutes from a meeting with the aggrieved party and/or any witness. If that information is not provided, ask for it, you have a right to see it.
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