When is Suspension of an Employee Lawful?
The High Court has confirmed that suspending an employee for alleged misconduct should never be a default position.
In the case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth  EWHC 2019 (QB), allegations were made that Ms Agoreyo (“Ms A”) had used unreasonable force towards a child on three occasions, shortly after commencing her employment. The head of the school found that Ms A had used REASONABLE FORCE; however, the school subsequently suspended Ms A on the grounds that it was necessary in order to allow the investigation to be conducted fairly.
Ms A challenged the lawfulness of her suspension and the High Court found in her favour; it concluded that: there was no attempt to ascertain Ms A’s version of events prior to suspension and; there was no consideration of the alternatives to suspension.
Niki Avraam, Employment Partner comments: Suspension is not always a neutral act; in cases where it is carried out as a knee-jerk reaction, it will amount to a breach of the employee’s employment contract. Employers should consider whether or not suspension is reasonable and necessary for the investigation to take place; it should not be regarded as a natural step in the disciplinary process.
Howat Avraam Solicitors provide Commercial, Employment and Contract Dispute advice to companies and business owners. As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients. We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services.
To discuss any employment matter on a no obligation basis, please contact Niki Avraam, Employment Partner, on 020 3735 6708 or email Niki at Niki.Avraam@hasolicitors.co.uk. Alternatively, visit our website at www.howatavraamsolicitors.co.uk.
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