New guidance has been published by ACAS for employers regarding how to deal with staff suspension in the workplace.
Acas recommends that employers should only use suspension as a last resort, such as when an investigation is being carried out and suspension is necessary for the protection of evidence, the business, and/or witnesses. The new guidance suggests the following as alternatives for suspension;
- Working from home or changing sites or shifts,
- Separating the employee from customers or allowing them to work with different customers,
- Restricting use of certain tools, systems or prohibiting work on specific tasks.
In order to support a suspended worker’s mental health, ACAS suggests that Employers:
- maintain holiday and pay during suspension,
- explain the reasons for an employee’s suspension,
- specifying that it does not mean that a decision has been made as to whether they have done anything wrong,
- limit the length of the suspension,
- keep in regular contact with the employee, and
- where possible, keep the suspension confidential.
Allowing the employee to be accompanied at suspension meetings, informing them in person of the suspension and then following up the suspension in writing is also considered good practice.