When is an employee sent home from work or should we say suspended? As they get the full payment? Employers can suspend an employee especially when there is an ongoing/ pending investigation for some gross misconduct or are facing some kind of serious disciplinary matter.
The right to suspend is usually a part of the employees’ contracts of employment or in some cases the staff handbook. A suspension may not be regarded as disciplinary action by itself, it may lead to disciplinary proceedings. When you suspend a member of staff, they may be still employed but they do not work, in fact, in some cases, it is imperative that they do not work at all.
Document the Suspension
You as an employee must ensure that your suspension procedure follows all the suspension protocols the details of which may all get well documented in a letter. This way your employer and you both will be able to refer to it if you need to refer to it in the future.
The Employee Should Have a Response
If there is an allegation of wrongdoing against an employee, the idea should be put before the employee before the employer makes a decision to suspend them, so that they can respond well.
Taking away the right of an employee to respond to a wrongdoing allegation may lead to a breach of trust and confidence and it may make a foundation for a constructive dismissal claim.
Consider Alternate Options to Suspension
The employer may always consider alternatives to suspension for example considering the option of transferring the employee to another department, considering the options of work from home, changing the working hours, or allowing them to work under supervision.
If you as an employee do not get to explore other options, you have to bring it up to HR (Human Resource) and discuss the same in a polite and civil way to find out what will be yours and the management’s next step forward. Also, if you do get the suspension order, know your rights and speak with HR to make the suspension period as short as possible, if you can.
Ensuring You Are Up to Date about the Ongoing Proceedings
It is the onus of the employer to keep your employee up to date on circumstances. Your employee knows all about the ongoing reasons, for example, if there is a disciplinary action being carried out, then, there should be an investigation process and the employee must know all about the progress of the investigation.
As soon as the suspension is over, they may be able to get back to work as soon as they can. In most cases, the employee may get an immediate start.
Resuming Work After Suspension
The chances are that your employee may get upset following the time post the suspension period. Resuming work after your suspension may prove to be tricky for an employee. The best thing to smoothen up the process is to sit for a meeting as the employee joins back to work.
This is the best way to discuss underlying issues, otherwise, the unease may continue to linger. If things do not go the way as per plan or the employee may feel there are problems affecting his/her work, it could even lead up to an employment tribunal in some countries. The best way to avoid out is to iron out the differences right at the onset. This will also avoid spreading gossip in the workplace.
Keep a Check on Your Conduct
As a returning staff member, you must take steps to make a good impression on your return, to avoid any resentment or problem brewing up because of the issue. Put up an effort to put your best foot forward.
This way your employer will begin to value your position once again. It is essential to meet up with the set markers and KPIs. If things are smooth and easy right at the onset, both the employee and the employer will overcome their past issues and start working without harboring any ill-feeling.
The Communication Protocol
How you communicate professionally and responsibly with managers and other colleagues is one way of setting the tone right. As long as the reason for your termination is well-accepted by you, you should not harbor any residual ill-will against the action taken by the management.
Try and meet up with the expectations of the management. It is the employer’s duty to extend as much support as they can.
Remember a suspension is for a short period only; ensure you follow all the protocols to jump back into the good books of your employer. Resume regular work and regular life and consider this to be just an aberration.