Suspension: What Are Your Legal Rights If You’re Suspended At Work?


legal rights employee suspension

Being suspended can be very stressful for an employee, especially if not handled well by the employer.

Generally, there is no automatic right to suspend an employee unless the employment agreement provides for suspension.

If you are suspended, the first step is to check the terms of your employment agreement to see:

(a) if you can be suspended;

(b) if you can - on what grounds; and

(c) whether there are any particular steps your employer should take or should have taken.

In any event, the employer must follow a fair process before deciding to suspend the employee. What is considered fair will depend on the circumstances but usually you should be given a chance to comment on the suspension and it should be on full pay.

Even if your employment agreement is silent on suspension, you might still be suspended during the disciplinary process in particularly serious cases. Examples of serious misconduct are: alleged assault, theft or other instances where the employer has grounds to believe that allowing you to remain on the premises while an investigation is carried out risks and exposes the business in some way.

What is clear is that the Courts view suspension as a very serious step. If, in the circumstances, your employer has not suspended without cause or has not suspended with a proper process then you may have a claim for an unjustified disadvantage.

We recommend that you obtain advice from your employment lawyer regarding your suspension and your options going forward.


In accordance with our obligations under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, we cannot provide legal advice unless you have become a client of Smith and Partners and have received our Terms & Conditions of Engagement and Info for Clients. 

If you would like advice on any employment law related matters, please contact Suzanne Sumner, Personal Assistant to employment law expert, Carolyn Ranson to find out how you can become a client of Smith and Partners and to set up an appointment to discuss your employment matter with Carolyn. 

Suzanne Sumner

Ph: 09 837 6840


Enquire online 

(Please note we do not offer no win – no fee payment arrangements)


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