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Suarez faces suspension following biting incident! If a similar incident happens in your workplace, follow these three steps to suspend an employee fairly

by , 26 June 2014
Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons.

On Tuesday, Suarez bit Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini in a Group D game, which Uruguay won 1-0 to qualify for the last 16.

Since the incident happened, football's world governing body, FIFA, announced that it's investigating the matter and will make a decision on how to discipline Suarez before the end of the week.

If found guilty for the assault, the 27-year-old who's been banned twice before for biting, could face a maximum suspension of 24 matches or two years. This in line with FIFA's rules on offences of an extreme nature.

Since assault doesn't only happen in soccer matches, continue reading to discover the three steps you must take to suspend your employee fairly if a similar incident happens in your workplace.

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There are two types of suspension you can use when it comes to assault in the workplace

Before we get to the steps you need to take to suspend an employee fairly, take a look at the two types of suspension:

#1: Preventative or precautionary suspension

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you can use this type of suspension if, for example, you've found that your employee has committed misconduct, but you're afraid that he may interfere with the investigation or tamper with evidence.

You'd then use preventative or precautionary suspension against him. You'd do this before you hold the disciplinary hearing.

#2: Punitive suspension

This is when you suspend your employee as a sanction after the disciplinary hearing. If FIFA decides to ban Suarez, it'll be punitive suspension.

Now let's look at the steps you must take to suspend your employee fairly.

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Suspending your employee for assault will only be fair if you follow these three steps

Step #1: Follow your disciplinary code or workplace policy's suspension procedure;

Step #2: Follow any regulation that deals with suspension; and

Step #3: Follow the employment contract if it deals with suspension.

Remember that your employee's contract comes first and overrides any policy. But where your collective agreement contains a suspension procedure, you must follow this procedure.

Here's the bottom line: Don't make the decision to suspend an employee lightly. The Labour Relations Act requires you to ensure you have a good reason for wanting to suspend your employee (substantive fairness) and you must follow a fair procedure (procedural fairness) to avoid being guilty of unfair labour practices. So make sure you follow the three steps we've outlined.



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