Suspension is a neutral act. It should not be automatic and should not be done without careful thought. It should be considered in any case where:
- there is cause to suspect, or it is clearly evident that, a child is at risk of or
- has suffered significant harm,
- the allegation warrants a police investigation,
- the allegation is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal.
The possible risks to children by the accused person should be evaluated and effectively managed in respect of the chid involved and any other children in the accused person’s home, workplace or community.
If a strategy discussion is to be held or social care or the police are going to make enquiries, the LADO should canvass their views on suspension and inform the designated senior manager or employer. The recommendation to suspend may be made at the strategy discussion. However, only the employer has the power to suspend and they cannot be required to do so by social care or the police.
If a person has been suspended and is to return to work on conclusion of the case, the designated manager or employer, in consultation with their Human Resources services, where applicable, should consider what support should be made available to the member of staff. e.g a phased return, provision of a mentor, temporary change of working arrangements etc. How best to manage the member of staff’s contact with the child who made the allegation, if still in the workplace, should also be considered.