Suspension of Employees in Schools
In a recent Court of Appeal case (Simon Agreyo v London Borough of Lambeth (Appeal)) the court concluded that suspension should not be a 'knee-jerk' reaction and that alternative options that would be reasonable should be taken into consideration. This case has followed on from similar case law that has arisen previously. Suspension may be considered necessary in extreme circumstances, for example where the employee attempts to hinder the investigation by meeting or intimidating witnesses and therefore prejudicing a meaningful investigation from taking place.
Statutory guidance on suspension states:
- If an allegation is made against a teacher the quick resolution of that allegation should be a clear priority to all concerned. Any unnecessary delays should be eradicated.
- In response to an allegation all other options should be considered before suspending a member of staff, suspension should not be the default option. An individual should be suspended only if there is no reasonable alternative. If suspension is deemed appropriate, the reasons and justification should be recorded by the Employer and the individual notified of the reasons.
Questions we have been asked this month
Q. Can a fixed term contract (FTC) be brought to an end before its expiry? Does a fixed term worker have the same rights?
A. It is commonly mistaken that a Fixed Term Worker does not share the same rights as a permanent employee. Under the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 it is unlawful to treat a fixed term worker any less favourably than a permanent worker, without a good business reason for doing so.