01332 340 211

Is suspension a breach of trust and confidence?

There are occasions when an educational establishment, such as a school, needs to suspend an employee to allow them to conduct a full and impartial review of facts surrounding a potentially serious allegation.

Previous court decisions have confirmed that suspension should never be a ‘knee jerk reaction’ to an allegation and careful consideration should be given before deciding to suspend an employee.

The Court of Appeal recently reached a decision in the case of London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo, which reviewed the circumstances in which the act of suspension could breach the implied term of trust and confidence between a school and an employee.

The facts

Agoreyo was employed as a primary school teacher and had less than two years’ service with the London Borough of Lambeth.

Having previously sought assistance with the pupils, Agoreyo was accused of using excessive force involving pupils with special educational needs on three occasions, including dragging a pupil across the floor.

The London Borough of Lambeth took the decision to suspend Agoreyo whilst a full investigation was conducted, leading to her resigning the same day, stating that the act of suspension amounted to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.

The decision

The Court of Appeal confirmed that there was no requirement for the school to prove that the suspension was necessary, nor a neutral act, but that an objective test should be applied as to whether there is reasonable and proper cause for suspension. The act of suspending an employee can breach the implied term of trust and confidence.

Going forward

This decision by the Court of Appeal is a helpful reminder that suspension should be well thought through and evidenced with careful consideration as to whether such action is reasonable and with proper cause. Educational establishments, such as schools, need to be considerate when determining whether to suspend an employee, as suspension can irreversibly damage a person’s reputation if they are later proven to be innocent.

If you need assistance with suspending an employee, contact our Employment & HR team on 01332 340 211.

< Back
All News >

SEE MORE

Contact us

x

If you have received a letter from our Debt Recovery team, please refer to the contact details provided in the letter to ensure your enquiry is dealt with promptly by the correct member of our team.

For all other enquiries, please complete the form below.

Derby Head Office:
St. Michael’s Court
St. Michael’s Lane
Derby
DE1 3HQ
Tel: 01332 340 211
Fax: 01332 207 601
DX: 729320 Derby 24
SRA number: 509657

Ashbourne:
54, St. John Street
Ashbourne
Derbyshire
DE6 1GH
Tel: 01335 342 208
Fax: 01335 342 010
DX: 26834 Ashbourne
SRA number: 511804

Opening Times:
Our offices are open Monday to
Friday between 08:00 & 18:00

Contact us

x