Many employers invoke precautionary suspension in order to allow them both time and space to properly investigate the wrongdoing and to protect themselves against further wrongdoing.
The employee is approached and advised of the investigation and advised of the allegations. For the precautionary suspension to be permissible it needs to be shown that the suspension was fair and whether there was a fair reason for the suspension. The suspension will be on full pay and thus there would be no prejudice to the employee.
This suspension cannot be for an inordinately long period of time and also should not be seen to be a punishment. The employer is not required to give an employee an opportunity to make representations prior to a precautionary suspension. Furthermore, the suspension imposed on the employee must be a precautionary measure and not a disciplinary one.
The employee will be paid full salary during suspension. If the employer has the necessity for a pre-suspension hearing, in terms of the employer’s disciplinary procedure, then that must take place timeously before the employee is suspended on full pay.