03 May Suspension is not a neutral act

Employers may be wise to be careful as this case could result in a claim for constructive and unfair dismissal against a Company in circumstances where it suspends an employee pending disciplinary action. It is commonly misunderstood amongst many employers that the correct course of action following suspicions of misconduct is to suspend the employee pending an investigation. Very often, this is a preferred course of action as it is seen to reduce risk to the Company.

But, the Court of Appeal decision of Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo [2019] EWCA Civ 322, makes it clear that the decision to suspend must not be taken lightly.

Within the judgment, Lord Justice Singh says, “In the context of suspension that in turn requires consideration to be given to the question whether there was reasonable and proper cause for that suspension. This is a highly fact-specific question.”

This heeds a warning for employers to tread very carefully and not to suspend employees as a knee-jerk reaction.

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