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How to make a Suspension letter

This document is GDPR compliant.

Make sure you do things right when you discipline an employee, with this employee suspension letter pending a disciplinary investigation. The suspension letter sets out in clear and simple terms the process to be followed and the employee's rights, helping ensure that the employer complies with the laws on unfair dismissal (as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996). It covers notification of the suspension, arrangements during the suspension and requests for potential witnesses and/or information relevant to the investigation.

Use this suspension letter:

  • when you want to suspend an employee from attending work pending a disciplinary investigation
  • for junior or senior employees
  • only for employees based in England, Wales or Scotland

This suspension letter covers:

  • notification of the suspension
  • arrangements during the suspension (what the employee can and cannot do)
  • the need for the employee to cooperate in the disciplinary investigation and remain available for work queries
  • request for the employee to bring relevant information, witnesses or documents relating to the allegations to the employer's attention
  • contact person for queries

A suspension letter is a letter that temporarily prohibits an employee from performing work pending a disciplinary investigation. It formally notifies the employee that they cannot attend work during the period specified in the letter and outlines their rights and obligations during such period.

Suspending an employee may be necessary when dealing with a serious disciplinary allegation, in particular in the event of investigation for gross misconduct.

A suspension letter keeps the employee away from work while you investigate and helps you protect the business, people and evidence during the investigation process. It also gives you time to figure out what the next appropriate action should be.

Make sure this suspension letter is part of a clear and fair Disciplinary procedure.

Before issuing a suspension letter, you should:

  • notify the employee about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences
  • meet with the employee at the earliest possible stage to discuss the issue
  • give the employee several warnings notifying that failure to improve performance may lead to a dismissal, in the event of poor performance

The letter must specify the date where the suspension period takes effect. The suspension cannot take effect before the employee knows about it so if you are posting the letter then the earliest that it can be effective is the date that the employee receives the letter.

The length of suspension should be determined based on the expected length of the investigation and must remain as brief as possible. If the employee is accused of gross misconduct, the suspension period should be no more than five days.


A suspension letter does not end the employment contract, so during the suspension period the employee must:

  • comply with their terms and conditions of employment, except the duty to attend work
  • cooperate with the investigation process and attend any investigatory interview or disciplinary hearing if needs be
  • remain available to answer any work-related query

The suspension letter should make clear that suspension does not mean that the person will necessarily be dismissed.

During the suspension, the employee continues to receive their normal salary and benefits, except for any payments that depend on them being physically present at work.

The suspension letter usually prohibits the suspended staff from accessing the premises, in order to facilitate the investigation process and protect evidence.

Ask a lawyer for:

  • suspending an employee for reasons other than disciplinary allegations
  • employees based outside England, Wales or Scotland

Other names for Suspension letter

Letter suspending an employee.

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