Suspended on full pay pending investigation

(26 Posts)
anchovies Mon 20-May-13 16:11:34

Just wondering what this means? Straight after arriving at work dh was told to go home, suspended on full pay until a meeting on Friday. He's certain this means he isn't going to be going back to work but he's not sure whether to expect a disciplinary on Friday (he's got no reason to suspect he will sacked for gross misconduct) or some sort of negotiation about him leaving quietly. I don't understand why he wasn't just made redundant sad

He has a 6 month notice period and isn't a member of a union. Just wondering if anyone could give him an idea of what he can expect on Friday?

ShatnersBassoon Mon 20-May-13 16:13:29

Does he have any idea what's being investigated?

anchovies Mon 20-May-13 16:14:10

No they wouldn't say?

jojane Mon 20-May-13 16:14:37

There are a million different scenarios it could be, what is his job??

ShatnersBassoon Mon 20-May-13 16:17:56

Why would he just be made redundant? I'm not sure why you think that would be an option for someone who they believe has done something that requires disciplinary action. Redundancy costs a company more than a dismissal.

I think you'll just have to sit it out until Friday, then work on what comes from the meeting. Until then, it's just a guessing game.

This sounds like a potentially serious disciplinary on Friday - but if that is what it is I don't think you can have a hearing unless the person has been warned that dismissal is potentially on the cards.

I would suggest he contacts HR and asks for a copy of all relevant policies including disciplinary and grievance.

Unless this is a gross misconduct matter he is entitled to his 6 months notice pay...you mention redundancy as a possibility...do you think they are trying to get round this?

Even if he's not a member of the union now, if there is one in his company, he could join now and ask for help?

He should make sure that if there is something disciplinary he has full details with sufficient notice before any meetings, and has a decent representative with him (solicitor, union rep etc)

There's no way there would be suspension on pay just for redundancy, I've never heard of that. Is he perhaps in a sales role, and have they heard he's been looking elsewhere and do they think he's taking clients with him? (that's the only time I've seen someone put on "gardening leave").

ShatnersBassoon Mon 20-May-13 16:26:27

Garden leave is common in any industry where the aggrieved employee might do some serious damage if they can't be dismissed immediately ie not gross misconduct but they want shot of them for whatever reason.

Cerisier Mon 20-May-13 16:28:40

DH needs to be prepared for Friday. Can he take someone with him to the meeting as an observer? He needs to get all allegations against him in written form and not rush to respond, he needs to think carefully about his replies.

anchovies Mon 20-May-13 16:29:35

He is sure there are no legitimate grounds for gross misconduct, unless they are going to say it's something like sending personal emails in work time or questioning his work hours or whatever. He is QSHE manager of a small manufacturing company so reports directly to the managing director. There is no union and due to his role it has never been appropriate for him to be in one.

Is it possible they are trying to get round making him redundant by negotiating his notice period? Do they need to tell him what the meeting on Friday is before he turns up then?

anchovies Mon 20-May-13 16:31:07

Sorry cross posts. Will ask him to think about taking someone with him on Friday. He could certainly have caused damage to the company if he was so inclined so maybe that's why they wanted him gone quickly?

Greydog Mon 20-May-13 16:33:03

Read this https://www.gov.uk/taking-disciplinary-action.

If he's been suspended it's serious and he needs to know why,

squawkparrot Mon 20-May-13 16:34:45

Not a lot to go on, but...
He's suspended on full pay, so it looks as if some sort of allegation has surfaced, so the firm are investigating it. Come Friday, he may be called into a meeting that is a 'meeting to establish the facts'. This type of meeting is often misused by an employer, but at this stage, what I mean by that does not really matter. But what is important is that on Friday he should not be in a disciplinary as the law says he needs to be given notice so that he can prepare, and also at a disciplinary he is entitled to a companion (or union rep). In this meeting, at least he will learn, or should do, what is happening and why. A meeting to establish the facts should not be about him defending his position, because that should be the remit of the disciplinary hearing, but this meeting will at least reveal what the problem is if any. But, it could also be the case, that the company in the meantime have investigated the allegation of wrongdoing and have found that there is nothing to it. If that is the case then he should be back to work. But, what might happen is that the company have very little, but then go on a fishing expedition to get the evidence they need from the suspended employee, hoping he will confess or cough-up something, beware of that tactic. On the other hand, if they tell him that he has done this or that wrong, then he should be careful about defending his position off the cuff. He might be better to ask for time to respond (which is what a disciplinary is for). But, if he can nip it in the bud there and then, it might be better to do so. It will be a matter of making that judgment at the time. The reason for this is because it is better not to get to the disciplinary hearing if possible, but then again, the disciplinary hearing can be used to reinforce his defence, call witnesses and evidence to back his points up. I hope that helps? Good luck for Friday.

anchovies Mon 20-May-13 16:52:56

Thanks, this all makes sense although he maintains he has no idea what this could be about other than them just wanting to get rid of him.

I will warn him about the potential pitfalls for Friday. He is convinced it is going to just be a negotiation about whether he goes quietly. I hope he's right. Without the notice period we are quite literally screwed sad

ajandjjmum Mon 20-May-13 18:54:29

Don't mean to be horrible, but your DH seems quite accepting of the situation. Has he told you everything?

flowery Mon 20-May-13 19:21:05

I agree with ajanddjjmum. It sounds as though your DH isn't as completely shocked as one would expect if he's done nothing wrong and has no prior reason to think his role is at risk.

Most people wouldn't go into a meeting expecting to negotiate about going quietly if they were not aware of anything wrong previously - they'd be going in to defend themselves to the hilt against whatever might be thrown at them.

Virgil Mon 20-May-13 19:31:56

I suspect this will be an interview with him to establish facts prior to disciplinary proceedings being brought. If so then it would be very unusual for him not to have an inkling about what is going on.

If its a precursor to a without prejudice conversation about him leaving then they are going about it in a very strange way since by suspending him when it is unwarranted they could be creating a claim for him. Either the employer is acting in an extremely aggressive manner without having taken any advice or else your DH is about to be interviewed regarding potential misconduct.

I have been an employment lawyer for 15 years and I've never known any company to suspend an employee before commencing redundancy consultation, it would make the dismissal procedurally unfair.

How long has your husband worked there?

anchovies Mon 20-May-13 20:17:07

Tbh dh (and I!) are pretty traumatised and totally non accepting of the situation but didn't want to clog up the facts with how shitty today has been!

Further update, one of dh's work colleagues has just been round to drop a folder off containing his handbook and contract etc (that he had broken into dh's office to obtain!)

It appears now that there is an investigation is going on as the MD spent the day in dh's office going through his files etc. On discussion dh and his colleague now suspect that they think he is working for someone else and are looking for proof. Apparently there was a situation where dh was quite forceful about obtaining some financial data which was handed over but the MD was unhappy about it. There is some history of this sort of thing in their workplace, they are very secretive about their product specifications.

Either way they are not going to find anything so it will be interesting to see what happens next?

anchovies Thu 23-May-13 11:03:21

Had a letter through yesterday with a bit more information. It says ..."you have been suspended on contractual pay to allow an investigation to take place following the allegations of your conduct at work particularly the state of records and systems documents submitted to the Management Review meeting held ...."

Dh is certain all the documentation is up to date and was independently audited in March with no issues (and has never had an issue previously.) He had no idea this was coming, he works closely with the rest of the management team and no concerns have ever been raised before.

The letter also has attached minutes of the meeting on Monday (when he was suspended) where it incorrectly says that dh was informed of the company director's concerns about his conduct relating to his role, particularly the state of records and systems documents submitted to the Management Review meeting.

Dh rang to request the minutes from the monday meeting be changed to what was actually said "let's just call it conduct for now" and also to request that (as it stated was possible in the letter) some of his work colleagues be interviewed about dh's management of the records and systems but both of these requests were deemed as unnecessary.

Dh is understandably concerned that he is being stitched up and isn't sure whether he should go in on Friday "giving evidence" as to why there are no problems with his conduct at work or to just to keep quiet and see whether they invite him to a disciplinary. Surely he can't be dismissed on gross misconduct for this?

Just wondering if anyone has any advice at this stage?

ajandjjmum Thu 23-May-13 13:17:02

Talk to an employment lawyer. It does seem odd that all was well in March, and suddenly isn't now.

ajandjjmum Sat 25-May-13 08:45:09

How did your DH get on anchovies?

BriansBrain Sat 25-May-13 21:26:54

Just read through the thread. How did it go on Friday?

anchovies Mon 27-May-13 19:21:36

Ah thanks for thinking about us smile

It went as he suspected really, impressive scare tactics in that they had moved the total contents of his office including his PC into the board room! They accused him of breaking into work this week to update documents as well as various other ridiculous things. They maintained he had enough to do him for gross misconduct though under H&S. At the end of the meeting he asked if they wanted to talk about a compromise agreement, they said yes they would consider it. Dh asked for the equivalent of a redundancy package.

He had to go back later in the afternoon where they offered him 2 months full pay. Dh rang me and we agreed to say no (by this time they were threatening him with doing him for fraud...) They agreed on 3 months full pay in the end. Just waiting for the documents to be drawn up and be signed off this week. All in all a pretty terrible week. Now the race is on to find a new job!

Thanks to a wonderful mumsnetter (hopefully she'll see this!) for all her help this week by PM. There are some lovely people out there flowers

lougle Mon 27-May-13 19:52:18

It sounds like they wanted rid without redundancy terms. I know my father worked for several firms as QA, then QA plus H&S, and when they made him redundant he was escorted out of the building within 30 minutes because he had the ability to do so much damage. It was just how it was then (80's).

BriansBrain Wed 29-May-13 21:46:55

I'm so sorry to rad you have both had such a shit outcome. I have PM'd you in regards to looking for new employment.

Seabright Sat 01-Jun-13 08:32:57

Don't forget to get the terms of his reference agreed in the compromise agreement.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now