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Suspension toolkits

The following provides guidance on any additional matters which need to be considered in the event of a public servant being suspended under the suspensio‚Äčn policy 

Where it has been agreed to proceed with suspension the following should be considered beforehand:

  • locating suitable office space to ensure that the suspension meeting takes place in private  
  • where appropriate, safeguarding of relevant documents, records, and other Government of Jersey property  
  • handing over keys and other equipment, which may include a work mobile or IT equipment, if IT access has been restricted
  • accompanying the employee back to the workplace to collect personal belongings if required  
  • limiting or removing access to IT systems  
  • guidance about contact with other employees whilst on suspension e.g., it may be necessary in some circumstances for a suspended employee to be prohibited from discussing the suspension/terms of suspension with other employees

Examples of where it is advisable to remove or restrict the IT access of suspended employees:

  • staff who have administration rights to IT systems  
  • alleged data breach 
  • instances of safeguarding concerns where employees have access to client information systems  
  • where soft copy documents relevant to the alleged misconduct may be deleted or tampered with  
  • where an employee works from home and/or may have the access to continue to harass, bully, or intimidate others

Pay

The employee will not suffer any detriment in contractual pensionable pay. For example, if employees work a regular shift pattern, this payment will continue throughout suspension. Alternatively, where shifts are claimed in arrears this will be calculated as an average payment over the previous 12 weeks.

If an employee is on a zero hours arrangement and has been suspended, pay will be calculated as an average over the previous 12 weeks.

Where an employee is medically suspended, they will receive contractual pensionable pay for up to 6 weeks, during which time it is expected that any issues regarding their medical status should be resolved. If the employee is formally signed off work by their doctor, they will revert to normal sick pay arrangements.

Suspending of employee out of hours

If there are circumstances where an employee needs to be suspended out of hours (weekend, evenings, bank holidays), and there is a lack of availability of union and HR representation, in order to ensure adherence to the policy, the employee can be sent home on special (paid) leave and asked to return on a normal working day, where adequate support can be made available. The employee can be notified that circumstances have been raised of concern, and a formal meeting will be held. For example, the following Monday. In the event the employee requests a meeting goes ahead without representation or a People and Corporate Services representative, this must be documented.

If a public servant is suspended and provides a medical certificate, they will remain suspended, however, the sick pay rules apply, and sickness absence will be recorded.

In the event of continued sickness absence, independent medical advice should be sought to determine if the employee is fit to attend or participate in any workplace meetings.

Other leave during suspension

A suspended employee who has previously booked annual leave may take this during the period of suspension providing they notify/remind their manager. Any leave that has not been booked prior to the suspension may be taken at the discretion of the line manager. All annual leave will be deducted from the employee's usual annual leave allocation.

For employees who are medically suspended, any pre-booked annual leave will be honoured and classed as annual leave. The period of annual leave does not count towards the maximum 6 weeks.

An employee is normally expected to remain on island whilst suspended, however, if required to leave the island for any reason whilst suspended, a line manager must be informed.

In situations where suspension is being considered as a potential option during a period of pre-booked parental leave, this will be managed on a case by case basis and advice should be sought from HR case management. 

Contact during suspension

During the suspension meeting, to ensure contact can be maintained with the employee, current contact arrangements should be confirmed (current address, contact number, email) and preferred method of communication.

Support

Suspended employees will be allocated a supporting officer who will act as liaison during the period of suspension (this is usually a representative from People and Corporate Services). The supporting officer will make contact on a weekly basis as a minimum and a contact log should be maintained. Employees are expected to make themselves available during their normal working hours as contact from the supporting officer may be made at any time during these hours.

Employees should be given the details of the 24 hour Personal Helpline number and offered to be referred to Occupational Health. Consideration should also be given to situations where there may be a lack of support at home, to ensure regular support and wellbeing checks are in place.

Visiting Government of Jersey premises

Employees who are suspended cannot attend their place of employment other than for meetings in connection with the suspension, for example, investigation meetings, disciplinary hearings, etc. If there is a need to attend your place of employment for any other reason outside of the investigation, please request this through your line manager.

This restriction does not apply in the event of receiving treatment or attending or accompanying someone (family member) to an appointment at any other government building as a private citizen (customer, service user, visitor).

Secondary roles, voluntary work

In the event of an employee being suspended for safeguarding allegations, to comply with safeguarding requirements, the employee must be asked if thy hold secondary employment/voluntary employment in another role, which involves work with vulnerable people. In these circumstances, the employer reserves the right to inform the relevant safeguarding service (Jersey Designated Officer or Adult Designated Officer).

Suspension of a union representative

Due to the nature of the union representative role, in the event of an employee being suspended who is a union representative, the employer (Employment Relations) will inform the relevant Chair, President of the relevant union.

Suspension Review Panels

The purpose of the suspension review panel is to:

  • ensure the employee was given the reasons for suspension in writing
  • determine whether the employee was given the opportunity to be represented by a companion (union representative or workplace colleague)
  • address whether the conditions for the suspension are being and continue to be met
  • explore whether the suspension can be lifted, and the employee can return to their substantive post or to a different location or in a different capacity
  • ensure the employee is being given suitable and appropriate support by a nominated person during their suspension
  • report the finding to the member of the States Employment Board responsible for suspensions and outcome to the individual

The panel will be comprised of a minimum of two members from the public service, who are independent of the department in which the suspended person was employed and who are not conflicted. One of the panel members will act as chair of the review meeting.

Panel members are required to maintain confidentiality regarding the details of an employee's suspension.

The role of the panel is to examine the process of the suspension and not to examine the substance of the complaint or accusations relating to that suspension. (This is the remit of a hearing panel in the event of a formal disciplinary hearing).

The suspension review panel is required to meet monthly.

A suspension will be reviewed if it has been in place for 28 calendar days or more and will be reviewed at each subsequent suspension review panel until it is concluded.

Attendance at the panel

Employees who have been suspended for 28 calendar days or more, will be invited to attend the panel although they are not obliged to attend.

Employees are entitled to be accompanied to each review by a companion (union representative, or a workplace colleague). They may not be accompanied by a legal representative friend or family member. The manager responsible for the suspension, and the HR Case Manager, is required to attend the review.

Meeting and documentation

Meetings will generally be held in the People and Corporate Services. However, this may not always be possible in which instance other arrangements will be made. All meetings will be held in private.

The HR Case Manager is required to produce a report in advance for the suspension review panel which will be included in the panel's papers. This should include the steps taken to resolve the suspension and detail consideration of alternative options to suspension.

Documentation required for the meeting will be circulated to the panel members approximately one week before the day of the meeting. No minutes of the meeting are required to be kept other than the report made to the States Employment Board. Panel members are not permitted to circulate the papers or discuss them with anyone else.

Minutes or notes of the panel will not be made.

Following the panel an anonymised report will be passed to the States Employment Board for the consideration of the SEB member responsible for suspensions. The report should contain any findings or recommendations of the panel.

A letter giving the outcome of the panel's findings should be sent to the suspended employee after the meeting stating whether the suspension is valid or note. This letter should be confined to the details of the process only.

Suspension Review Panel Running Order

When reviewing a suspension, the following running order should be followed:

  • presentation of suspension report (Manager/HR Case Manager)
  • questions from the employee if present
  • questions or observations from panel members

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