ACAS guidance on suspension published
ACAS has published new guidance – Deciding whether to suspend someone: Suspension during an investigation at work – which is likely to be of help to employers. It will assist in ensuring that suspension is used appropriately, whilst reminding employers of the need to support an employee’s mental health during suspension.
The guidance discusses the practical aspects of suspension, reminding employers to stop and think before suspending and considering whether there are alternatives for the employee in question.
It suggests considering whether work location be changed to avoid the need to suspend. It suggests the employee working with different people or limiting work with specific systems, tools or on a specific task rather than suspension.
The guidance highlights the importance of communicating the reason for the suspension and being clear that it is not a sanction. It reminds employers of the need to maintain salary and benefits and the requirement to keep the suspension as short as possible.
Significantly, it raises awareness of the stress a suspended employee may be under as a result of the situation causing the suspension, and how the employer can support them.
The aim of the guidance is to minimise or avoid breach of contract arising from suspension and ensuring that employers can demonstrate that their suspension is completely fair and appropriate.