Supporting mental health - Suspension during a work investigation

Supporting mental health

Being suspended can affect someone's mental wellbeing. For example, they could feel worried or distressed about the investigation and what will happen.

In some circumstances, it could lead to:

  • new mental health problems arising
  • existing mental health problems returning or getting worse

If their mental health is affected, it might not be obvious if they're not at work or if they do not tell you.

As an employer, you have a legal 'duty of care' to support the person during suspension and look out for their wellbeing.

You can help prevent mental health problems arising or getting worse by:

  • communicating clearly with the person you're suspending when you tell them and throughout the process
  • making clear the suspension does not mean you've decided they've done something wrong
  • making clear you will listen to their point of view and consider it before making any decisions
  • keeping in regular contact throughout the suspension
  • updating them about the investigation and when it's likely to end
  • making sure the suspension only lasts for as long as it needs to
  • making sure the employee knows who they can contact if they have any concerns

Read more about communication during the suspension process

If someone needs mental health support

It's good practice for employers and managers to:

Depending on what's available through your organisation, an employee could get support from:

  • the organisation's employee assistance programme (EAP)
  • a mental health 'champion' or support network at work
  • their trade union, if they're a member

For help or advice outside your organisation, they could also:

Find more advice on supporting mental health at work

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