Letter of Suspension Template by uwg12118

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AUTHORISING OFFICER:               Jim Andrews


DATE OF ISSUE:                     March 2008

ISSUE NUMBER:                      3

DATE FOR REVIEW:                   March 2010

NAME OF TRUST:                     Hertfordshire Partnership NHS
                                   Foundation Trust

  Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is committed to
  providing an environment where all staff, service users and carers
  enjoy equality of opportunity.

  The Trust works to eliminate all forms of discrimination and
  recognise that this requires, not only a commitment to remove
  discrimination, but also action through positive policies to redress

  Providing equality of opportunity means understanding and
  appreciating the diversity of our staff, service users & carers and
  ensuring a supportive environment free from harassment.
  Because of this Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  actively encourages its staff to challenge discrimination and
  promote equality of opportunity for all.

  P:POLICIESRATIFIED                   1                       MARCH 2008



       1.1     This policy is intended to clarify the reason, processes and
               purpose for suspending employees. For further guidance on the
               process or for advice if they are in any doubt about actions to
               take, employees should call Human Resources during normal
               hours or the Executive Member on call during out of hours.
               Suspension should be the action which is the last resort.

       1.2     If the issue is about professional practice, any clinical issue or
               advice must be taken from a senior line manager and from the
               appropriate professional lead.

       1.3     The purpose and reason for employee suspension is as follows:

               1.3.1    It is not considered safe for the employee to practice
                       and/or remain at work, a police investigation is being
                       conducted, or actions by the employee have allegedly
                       brought the Trust into disrepute

               1.3.2 The employee should be placed on authorised paid leave
                     pending a preliminary investigation to establish whether
                     suspension is warranted. This period of authorised paid
                     leave will not normally exceed 5 working days.
                     Suspension should be a measured last resort. Reasons
                     must be given for the suspension.

               1.3.3 Managers need to involve the employee’s Trade Union
                     Representative and HR to fully discuss this option before
                     putting it into practice, if possible. It should be made
                     clear that employee should not visit their “normal” place of
                     work without permission, nor should they discuss the
                     case with other employees other than in a professional .
                     capacity. Appointments with medical employee, HR and
                     Trade Unions should be agreed with the named support.

                       A named person must be provided for any employee from
                       whom they can access support. The name of the person
                       must be written in the letter confirming the suspension.


       2.1     When it has been decided to suspend an employee, a
               manager/team leader must meet the employee and the Trade
               Union representative (if they are available) and inform him/her of
               the reason for suspension. Please refer to the Managers’

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               Delegated List of Authority in the Trust’s Disciplinary Actions.
               (See Appendix G).

       2.2     The manager must clearly explain the allegation, but not enter
               into any other conversations.

       2.3     The manager must explain what happens next (Refer to the
               Disciplinary Policy).

       2.4     The manager must ensure the employee leaves the premises,
               and assist them to gather personal belongings.

       2.5     The manager must confirm the details of this discussion in
               writing. The letter must be sent to the individual at their home
               address, marked private and confidential, and sent by recorded
               delivery, or courier. The recorded delivery slip should be stapled
               to the copy of the letter for the investigation file. A copy of this
               letter should be sent to Human Resources. The timescale for
               letters to be sent should comply with the Disciplinary Policy. A
               point of contact, outside of the investigation, must be given to
               the employee and this must be confirmed in writing in the
               suspension letter.

       2.6     Where the employee is a Trade Union Representative the
               manager must inform the Full Time Paid Trade Union Officer of
               any allegation via the local branch. This Officer may wish to
               attend the meeting when the representative is formally

       2.7     During the period of suspension the point of contact for the
               employee will be the named support.

       2.8     The manager will inform the employee that they should not visit
               Trust sites or sites that the Trust use, or contact any Trust
               employee. Where there are personal circumstances requiring
               the employee to visit Trust sites e.g. Occupational Health,
               wages and the Trade Union office, then the employee must
               inform the manager in advance. If the employee has employee
               accommodation on site, access to the employee canteen and
               any other right under the rental agreement will be honoured.

       2.9     Suspended employees must undertake no other employment
               either within the Trust, or with another organisation. The
               employee must make themselves available to discuss any
               issues arising from the suspension.

       2.10    Throughout the period of suspension employees will not suffer
               any loss of normal pay (this will include any additional
               allowances per normal shift pattern plus any extra hours booked
               on bank already for the week the individual is suspended).

P:POLICIESRATIFIED                  3                                    MARCH 2008

       2.11    The manager must ensure that employees are made aware of
               the Employee Counselling Service. This independent
               confidential service is free to employees for one assessment
               visit and 5 sessions. The telephone number is 08702 404208.

       2.12    The manager who suspended the employee must write to
               him/her monthly informing them why their suspension is still
               necessary. A letter must be sent each month that the
               suspension continues. The HR service can provide a template
               letter for managers.


       3.1     Sickness absence rules, as set out in the Trust’s Attendance
               Management Policy, are to be followed during a period of

       3.2     Annual leave will continue to be accrued while on suspension
               during the annual leave year.


       4.1     The manager must ensure that, in cases where there is doubt
               over the fitness of an employee to work, the Occupational Health
               Department is consulted before medical suspension takes place.

       4.2     Before returning to work following medical suspension, the
               employee will be referred to the Occupational Health
               Department. The employee is expected to cooperate fully with
               any request to attend for any health assessments.

       4.3     If a manager or occupational health recommends medical
               suspension for an employee, they need to be aware that the
               employee should receive their full salary.

5.     REVIEW

       5.1     Suspension should be kept under review, and time limits should
               be set for the review to take place. A monthly letter must be sent
               to the employee informing him/her why it is considered that
               suspension is still necessary. (Please see 2.12 above).

On behalf of the TU/HR/Management Trust’s Policy Group

P:POLICIESRATIFIED                  4                                  MARCH 2008

                    Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) Stage 1

Policy or service being assessed: SUSPENSION OF EMPLOYEES’

Summary Policy -
    This policy is intended to clarify the reason, processes and purpose for
    suspending employees. For further guidance on the process or for advice if
    they are in any doubt about actions to take, employees should call Human
    Resources during normal hours or the Executive Member on call during out
    of hours. Suspension should be the action which is the last resort.


Person(s) responsible for carrying out the assessment (if not the Lead

Date of Assessment: April 2008

1. Is this a new or existing policy or        New:                Existing:
    service?                                                      X
2. What is the expected outcome of the        The Trust and its staff have a fair
service/policy (e.g. aims, objectives and     and legal process to follow for all
purpose of the service/policy, standards      Suspension of Employee issues
for practice)
3. Does this policy/service link to others?   Yes:               No:
If yes please state link below:               Disciplinary
                                              Yes:               No:
4. Does the Policy/Service show that the
11 principles of mental health recovery       n/a
have been taken into account? (See
supporting information in main Impact
Assessment toolkit)

If yes, please give evidence:

5. Who is intended to benefit from the        All staff
policy/service: In what way.
6. How is the policy/service to be put    Joint Commissioning Negotiation
into practice? Who is responsible?        Committee and Head of Human
7. How and where is information about Intranet & guardian system
the policy/service publicised?
8. What regular consultation do you carry Via the Policy Group who meet
out with different communities and        monthly
groups re the policy/service?
9. Are there concerns that the            Yes:              No:
policy/service could have an adverse                        X

     P:POLICIESRATIFIED               5                                   MARCH 2008

impact* because of: (Please refer to
supporting information)
Age                                                                 X
Disability                                                          X
Gender                                                              X
Ethnicity                                                           X
Sexual Orientation                                                  X
Religion/Belief                                                     X
10. If YES to one or more of the above
please state evidence.
11. Do the differences amount to                  Yes:              No: X
12. If YES could it still be justifiable e.g.     Yes:              No:
on grounds of promoting equality of
opportunity for one group?
I.e. Indirect discrimination can be justifiable
sometimes when a service is being provided
for a particular target group E.g. Asian
women’s breast screening, Gay men’s
sexual health clinic, Mental Health Services
for Older People etc.
If Yes: Please give reasons below:

13. Do you think this policy/service
specifically contributes to promoting
equality and diversity in Hertfordshire? If
so, in what way? Please note any
examples of good practice.
14. What approaches will you take to get          Via the Trust’s Policy Group in
feedback on your assessment?                      partnership
15. How will the assessment link to other         Workforce Strategy/Excellent
mainstream service planning or review             Employer.
16. Should there now be a Full Impact             n/a
Assessment and if so what are the
17. What further data, information or             n/a
assistance do you need to carry out a full

                           GETTING FEEDBACK AND ADVICE
      Feedback should now be sought from representatives of the Equality Impact
      Assessment Scrutiny Group or other agreed forum. Details can be found in
      Appendix 3.

       What feedback was given about Stage 1?
       The Following feedback was given by the scrutiny committee on 29/04/08:

      P:POLICIESRATIFIED                  6                                 MARCH 2008

 It was recommended that the policy state that suspension should be a
 neutral act. However as this is not a specific equality issue it is just a

 Section 4 – Medical Suspension
 Although there no significant issues within this policy, the group advises that
 a close watch is kept on any future policies that expand on medical
 suspension. We may need to address issues of disability should any other
 policies be created.

 EIA Itself:
    • Section 13 – The issue stated does not specifically relate to equality.
        Please remove.
    • Section 15 – Please do not use ‘etc’. Please put full list.

 The following amendments to the policy were made:

     •    Section 13 – equality text removed
     •    Section 15 – Etc removed.

 Agreed on 08/05/08

* NB: Appendix 1 provides a glossary of terms.

P:POLICIESRATIFIED                  7                                   MARCH 2008

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