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Can some-one be suspended for gross misconduct if they have (hurriedly) taken sick leave?

(8 Posts)
Earthymama Thu 07-Aug-08 21:35:34

Sorry cannot give the gory details at the moment but will reveal all at some point.

If a person knows they are going to be found out for something they have done and goes 'on the sick' is their employer able to suspend them while the accusations are investigated?

I need to be armed with the correct procedures are I believe this has not been handled properly.

By the way the 'person' has badly hurt one of my family.

Your help and advice will be much appreciated.

misi Thu 07-Aug-08 23:23:15

no idea I am afraid, been a few years since I had to be bothered with employment laws, but a couple of sites I have on file that you probably have already but just in case

http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/guidesto/employmentindex.shtml

http://www.direct.gov.uk /en/Employment/Employees/index.htm

flowerybeanbag Fri 08-Aug-08 09:14:25

Earthymama difficult to advise without more really.

Was this person suspended and then immediately went on sick leave, or went on sick leave before this incident was discovered? Has the disciplinary investigation started? Has the employer suspended them or not? Is it that you think they should have or shouldn't have done so or what? What aspect of the procedure do you think hasn't been followed or handled properly?

The idea of suspension is to remove an employee from the workplace during a disciplinary investigation, it's not any kind of disciplinary action itself and should not have any influence on the outcome of the disciplinary.

So from that point of view, it's unnecessary to suspend the person as they are already away from the workplace. Depends also how long their sick note is for as well. If it's for a couple of days and the anticipation is that the investigation will take longer, the employer should put in place a suspension to take effect when the sick note runs out. If they've been signed off for a month, it is unlikely to be necessary at all.

I should also say that it's not really good practice to proceed with disciplinary action when an employee is off sick in normal circumstances. Obviously an employer can investigate as sometimes time is of the essence, but it wouldn't normally be good practice to have a disciplinary hearing during sick leave, you'd normally agree to delay it until the employee is fit for work.

mylittlemonsters Fri 08-Aug-08 21:21:26

Without the detail it is difficult.

Depends on how serious it is, the incident.

It would provide the company with an element of control. So if person went off sick it would be down to them when they appear in work again whereas with suspension the company decides (with the employee).

I would expect that if they have suspended thet would be in contact with the individual and would have explained why they were considering it first and then confirm that they are instigating it and why.

Also, would expect that they would have considered if the Disability Discrimination Act covers individual - e.g. are they signed off for an illness that that they have generally.

Earthymama Fri 08-Aug-08 23:50:32

Thank you for your replies....we, the family, are sick of hearing how sad it is that the 'person' is ill....stress and depression...when we know the person is facing a court case and conviction.

We've kept quiet to protect family member but it's so hard. We just feel that if the person was suspended it would send a message that not as nice as appears.

Sorry about stilted language, I'm trying to avoid identifying my family member.

flowerybeanbag Sat 09-Aug-08 09:39:14

But earthymama both in terms of a court case and/or a disciplinary hearing, they can't be assumed to be guilty of whatever it is pending an investigation/the court case. A suspension is designed to remove them from the workplace as a precaution and to prevent anything prejudicing the hearing, not to send a message.

I understand what you are saying, and I appreciate that you are angry and frustrated, but presumably a court case and/or conviction for a criminal offence will send a strong message anyway, a much stronger one than being suspended from work.

Earthymama Sat 09-Aug-08 20:48:48

Yes but we feel that a suspension would make it clear that family member is not at fault in this. The person has admitted culpability but went sick to avoid facing fellow workers and client group.

It's so hard when you live in a small community to deal with such personal issues. Since I first posted we have been advised that it will be in public domain this week so we can start to spring to defence without harming the case.

I understand from your earlier post that the sick leave invalidates the need for suspension, thank you for that.

ImnotOK Sat 09-Aug-08 20:52:33

I hope you get it sorted whatever it is ,it sounds like a very stressful time .

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