Employee returning to work after suspension

How to manage your employee's return

When you suspend a member of staff, they’re still employed for you but don’t attend work. In fact, they should do no work for you at all.

You’ll need to do this in the event of employee misconduct (separate instances can be due to medical demands or workplace risks).

It’s not a disciplinary action, but a chance to investigate, for example, an incident of alleged gross misconduct.

But what happens when the staff member is ready to return to work? 

Communication during a suspension

Remember that you should keep your employee up to date on circumstances. Regularly provide details such as the ongoing reasons, such as an investigation process.

But you should also let them know when their return should be (once you know).

Once the suspension is over, they’ll be able to return to work as soon as possible. In most cases, that’ll be an immediate restart.

Coming back to work after suspension

The chances are your employee is upset following their time away from your business.

A return to work following suspension is tricky for you and your staff member. On the first day they come back, you should hold a meeting to smooth over the process.

That’s your chance to discuss any lingering issues that you, or they, have about going back to work after suspension.

If they feel the situation hasn’t been handled correctly, then they may make a complaint—that could lead to an employment tribunal.

To help with this matter, you should discuss with them ways in which to discuss the matter with their colleagues.

Choosing how to relay the news to other staff members is important—you don’t want to spread gossip in the workplace.  

Post-suspension employee conduct

A returning member of your staff will likely want to make a good impression on their return, despite any potential resentment over the issue.  

If they value their position in your business, they’ll put the effort in/ But if you want to give them a helping hand you may want to discuss with them how they can achieve this—set markers to meet and KPIs, for example.

This option is, of course, entirely at your discretion. But if you, for instance, held a meeting with them it’s a nice way to offer them a vote of confidence.

You could raise points such as:

  1. How to communicate professionally and responsibly with managers and other colleagues.
  2. The staff member’s rights, such as an acceptable reason for terminating their contract if necessary.
  3. Any restrictions you’ve placed on the returning staff member and your expectations surrounding them.
  4. Whether they’re returning to work after suspension with pay.

Remember, too, that coming back to work after being suspended will be a nervous time for your employee.

They will likely feel awkward and nervous. They may well want to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible, so your support can help in that respect.

Need our help?

For assistance with any employee difficulties, call us for immediate help: 0800 783 2806.


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