This update is about an important case for the medical and care sectors in particular – North West Anglia NHS Trust v Gregg:
It establishes that it is almost always not necessary for an employer to postpone internal disciplinary proceedings pending the outcome of criminal investigations, unless there is a serious risk of a miscarriage of justice.
This case involved a doctor investigated over two patient deaths. This provides welcome certainty for employers who will be in a much stronger position if they wish to deal with matters internally before a police investigation is concluded, however, it will always depend on the particular situation.
The Court of Appeal also noted that the courts should not seek to ‘micromanage’ the internal processes of an employer. Disciplinary proceedings operate to a far lower burden of proof than criminal proceedings, and the judgment is a clear steer away from the law getting involved in internal proceedings.
Another point on pay during suspension; generally, suspension without pay would be exceptional and only if contractually agreed. Ed McFarlane of Deminos has produced a summary of the case here.