Suspension refers to the situation where an employee isn't permitted to be at the workplace for a stipulated period of time and may be paid suspension or unpaid suspension, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
So when there's an allegation of misconduct against your employee, you need to distinguish between suspension as an operational measure and suspension as a punitive measure.
Use these two methods to suspend your employee for misconduct.
Method 1: Operational suspension
You can use operational suspension when an allegation of misconduct has been raised against your employee and an investigation needs to be conducted.
'If the accused employee remains at the workplace, it may hamper the investigation, intimidate potential witnesses or permit tampering with incriminating evidence,' says the Loose Leaf.
Keep in mind that if you suspend your employee for the duration of the investigation until the disciplinary enquiry is held, the suspension must be with pay.
In addition, if you've suspended your employee pending an enquiry, you must permit him access to his union or other representative, witnesses and relevant documentary or other evidence so he can prepare his defence.
You can also impose an operational suspension where tensions are running high and the employee's presence at the workplace could aggravate a sensitive situation.
Method 2: Punitive suspension
Punitive suspension is where you use suspension as a penalty for serious misconduct.
If you take this route, you must ensure it's suspension with pay (unpaid suspension is contrary to Section 34 of the BCEA unless your employee consents in writing). You'd typically offer this kind of suspension (unpaid) as an alternative to dismissal. If your employee refuses then you can dismiss him.
Be sure to get it in writing if your employee agrees to accept unpaid suspension for a period of time rather than being dismissed. Make sure he signs acceptance of the sanction.