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Work suspensions on the rise

A well-established Coventry & Warwickshire legal firm has reported an increase in the number of employees seeking advice after being dismissed from work.

Kerry Hudson, Head of Employment at Brindley Twist Tafft and James reported an exponential rise in inquiries over the last few months.

In the majority of cases, employees were in complete disbelief about their legal rights. This was also a new territory for the majority of employers.

The person who is removed from the workplace in cases when there is an alleged gross misconduct or a breach of trust, and it is believed that their actions are damaging to the business as there’s no other alternative as the matter is being examined.

Suspension typically occurs abruptly and without notice, and in majority of cases is the result from financial issues like an unauthorized use of a credit card, irregularities with expenditures, bank transactions that are not correct or inappropriate conduct toward a coworker, but it could be due to any number of reasons.

While a suspension is only a last resort in the event of an instance, an employee isn’t able to move offices, be monitored closely or work from home. Any suspension should be granted for the least amount of time that is reasonable with the intention of allowing time and space as well as the possibility of a thorough investigation.

In reality, as more and more employees are working from home, there is more trust between the employer and employee, and in the event of any breach of trust, it’s more obvious.

Employers often worry about putting employees on suspension because it can cause a rupture in an employee’s relationship that could be difficult to repair later. If there’s an actual concern, suspending the employee during an investigation is much better than firing someone without conducting an investigation.

The three first questions that are always asked is ‘Am I legally entitled to know the reason I’m suspended?’ Am I rightfully entitled to full-time pay? How long will this be?’

As the two go together, they are entitled to know they are being investigated and why.

People with under two years of employment are more worried about the outcome as they know that they won’t be able to file a claim for unfair dismissal should dismissal be the result.

In some instances, employees might think the suspension to be unfair and file a grievance. If however , they feel convinced that it’s unfair and has no reason, it may cause them to think about whether they’d like to go back to work again and could lead to resignation or filing a claim in the employment tribunal, such as constructive dismissal.

In some instances, additional disciplinary actions could be considered, like the writing of a warning or dismissal Further investigations might reveal that the allegations are not true – and in that case, the employee will be re-invited to work, and the relationship will be rebuilt.

BTTJ recently strengthened its standing in the ranks of West Midlands’ leading law firms with the acquisition of MacNamara King Solicitors, increasing its staff to 70 with office locations located at Warwick, Balsall Common and Southam and Coventry.

With over 200 years of experience that dates back to 1797 BTTJ is known for offering the best service.

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