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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Investigation plus Suspension I have been falsely accused

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Investigation plus Suspension
I have been falsely accused of misconduct and suspended from work as a lone relief support worker. They say areas of concerns are;
1 - Failing to respond to a customer request
2 - Use of your own mobile whilst on duty
3 - Speaking to another staff member whilst on duty in the customer/service users home using speech the customer does not understand, hence potentially causing them confusion.
4 - Failing to respond to vulnerable adult in a distressed state.
I have been invited to an informal not formal meeting, my concern is why is it that they want me to bring along a colleague to support me? I was not given a warning about these suspected allegations.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.


2 years as a Support Worker/Relief basis


I work with people with learning disabilities in a shared accommodation.

Being placed on suspension is not necessarily an indication of guilt and there is certainly no guarantee that this will go any further. Under employment law, an employer has a duty to conduct an investigation before taking formal disciplinary action and suspension is primarily used as a precautionary measure whilst that is taking place. The only requirement is that any period of suspension is on full pay, unless otherwise allowed by the employee’s contract of employment.

Nevertheless, an employer should not just go ahead and suspend, unless it is actually necessary in the circumstances. It is however acceptable to be suspended if there is an allegation of gross misconduct or if the presence of the employee in the workplace could potentially damage any investigation or have some other negative impact.

If the employer’s investigation collects enough evidence to justify disciplinary action only then should they consider going down that route. If that does happen the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and will get the opportunity to formally defend them at the disciplinary hearing.

On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should just drop the issue and allow the employee to return to work as normal.

It appears that you may have been asked to attend an investigatory meeting for now and even though there isn't legal right to be accompanied at such meetings, the employer can still give you that right if they want to. You just need to be sure that you are not being asked to attend a disciplinary hearing without being told that is the case and without being informed in advance of what the specific allegations against you are and the potential outcome of the hearing.
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