However, the recent case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth  EWHC 2019 highlighted that in some cases, suspension can amount to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. In that case, Ms Agoreyo, a teacher, was suspended following allegations of using force with two challenging children. The High Court held that this was a repudiatory breach of contract by the employer, entitling Ms Agoreyo to resign. The employer had not considered whether there were other alternatives to suspension or Ms Agoreyo’s own responses to the allegations.
You should think about the following issues and document any decisions reached:
Allegations should always be investigated, but the question is whether it is absolutely necessary to suspend the employee during that investigation. Suspension can have serious ramifications for employees, particularly in professional roles such as teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers and accountants.
If a decision is taken to suspend, this should be confirmed in writing to the employee. Agoreyo confirmed that the letter should set out who has made the decision, the fact that alternatives have been considered but disregarded for specified reasons, and the reasons why suspension is regarded as reasonable and necessary.
Our template 'Disciplinary Suspension Letter SL5.02' has been updated to address this guidance and is now available on our Customer Zone.
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