Medical Suspensions from Work

An employer can suspend an employee from work if their health and safety is in danger. This can be either a:

  • medical suspension, for example if they have a serious allergic reaction to a chemical they use at work 

  • suspension for maternity reasons, for example if they’re pregnant and work in a lab that uses radiation 

Before an employee can be suspended    

Employers must review the employee’s risk assessment (external link) before suspending them.   

Before employees can be suspended for maternity reasons  

There are additional rules before an employer can suspend employees who: 

The employer must follow these steps in order, and only move on to the next step if the situation is not resolved.  

  1. Take reasonable steps to remove, reduce or control any risks to the employee and their baby - for example, by preventing exposure to the risk or providing protective equipment. 

  2. Try to temporarily adjust the employee’s working conditions or working hours. 

  3. Offer the employee suitable alternative work on their normal terms and conditions. 

  4. Suspend the employee on full pay. This will last as long as the employee, or their baby, is in danger. 

Employees’ pay when suspended  

The employee has the right to normal pay (including bonuses) for up to 26 weeks, as long as they’ve been in their job for a month or more. 

This is not the same as Statutory Sick Pay (external link). The employee does not have to be signed off by a GP. 

Employers should deduct tax and National Insurance through payroll in the normal way. 

Employees will not have the right to pay if they: 

Problems with suspension on medical grounds 

If the issue cannot be solved informally, the employee can raise a grievance (external link)

The employer must respond to the grievance by following their written grievance procedure (external link)