Should you suspend employees pending criminal proceedings?

What are an employers options when an employee is charged with a criminal offence? Should they suspend indefinitely? 

Following the last episode in which I covered suspending employees I have been contacted by a listener who raised some great questions about suspending employees when there are criminal allegations either related to work or behaviour outside of work to take into consideration.

This is certainly an issue that arises fairly frequently and often employers do not know what to do and feel that they have no choice but to suspend the employee on full pay pending the outcome of the criminal case.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The difference in approach depending on the facts of the case;
  • Why it may not be appropriate to suspend and/or dismiss an employee for criminial conduct outside of work;
  • The importance of following a fair and reasonable internal disciplinary procedure;
  • What to do if an employee refuses to answer questions or is advised not to attend an investigation meeting;
  • Circumstances in which you do not have to wait for the employee to attend a disciplinary meeting;
  • General principles for suspension and disciplinary decision making.

Action Points

  1. Seek advice about the particular circumstances, every case is different;
  2. Review the suspension checklist before suspending, in the same way as you would for any other conduct issue;
  3. Take care not to make snap decisions or judgments;
  4. Listen to the unfair dismissal mini series which you can find here: 36 and 37

Get in touch to get your copy of the free suspension checklist, email suspension@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk

Don’t forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006


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The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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2 thoughts on “Should you suspend employees pending criminal proceedings?

  1. Deborah Morris says:

    Another really informative podcast – thanks! Suggestion for a future one or series is the working time regulations regarding compensatory rest and the legal issues around emergency stand by and call out, what is the difference between working time classed as duty time and when is working time not duty time – hope that makes sense!

    • alison says:

      Many thanks Deborah I will certainly put something together regarding this as it is an interesting and somewhat complicated topic.

      Thank you for your feedback on the podcast it is much appreciated!

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