Suspending an employee in a knee jerk reaction may get an employer in trouble. Ane employer must be careful even in a difficult situation and when they are under pressure .
The court of Appeal has heard a case about a teacher who resigned after suspension. She claimed that the suspension was a breach of trust and confidence. The teacher was suspended after being accused that she had used unnecessary force on two extremely challenging primary school pupils. The High Court had found the suspension was a mainly a knee-jerk reaction and not “necessary”. However the Court of Appeal disagreed. They said the test is “what it reasonable and proper” in the circumstances. However the Court of Appeal added that a knee-jerk reaction is a factor that might make suspension unreasonable. In this case the head teacher was responsible for young children so you might think there were good reasons to suspend. But even a case like this it took a decision of the Court of Appeal to confirmit was a reasonable response.
Lessons – What is reasonable in one set of circumstances won’t be in others. In most cases employers must take great care about suspending employees and avoid knee-jerk decisions.