I am hoping the forum can assist me with this problem. Tomorrow morning, I will have to suspend one of our managers for Gross misconduct during which a full investigation. Issues came to light this morning that have left us with no other alternative.

being a small company of 25, How best do I relay his news to

A) His Team

B) Other Employees who may ask questions.



GlennR's picture

In a small company I hope you have a person qualified to give you competent HR advice or perhaps you have access to a consultant hired by the company. Follow that person's advice to the letter. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but In the US, you are now entering an entire new universe. Tread carefully. Just remember that old saying about not putting your foot in your mouth if you keep it closed.

Good luck!

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 If you have a HR person talk to them, if you don't have HR  (I'm guessing from the size of the company you probably don't have a HR department) talk to a lawyer (internal or external).

 Keeping your mouth closed is good advice, but probably not really possible to follow.  Say nothing until you have had advice from a HR/Legal expert, if you have to say anything say as little as possible.

Presumably the purpose of the suspension with pay is to allow you to conduct an investigation.  In addition to wanting to avoid any accusations of defamation you also need to avoid any chance that something said could be construed as influencing the investigation.  If this does go to dismissal then you want to avoid the possibility of being accused of 'poisoning' the work place against this manager leading to people giving evidence based on assumptions rather than fact or being fed their evidence.



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"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I'm sorry that this may be late.  Unfortunately, the forums aren't the place for short notice requests, at least not for me.

Hr may be able to be helpful... but often only to tell you what you can't do.

As soon after the meeting where you ask him to go home ( I assume you will tell him face to face, in the office, and then the suspension would mean he would have to go home), bring HIS TEAM together and tell them he's been suspended, for a time not yet determined.  Tell them you're sorry to bring bad news, but that that's all they're going to hear from you. Tell them you won't answer any questions, nor will you confirm nor deny any rumors.  Tell them further that rumors aren't helpful to anyone - not him, not you, and not the people spreading them, since work won't be getting done while rumors are being spread.


"I regret to inform you that [name] has been suspended for an undetermined period of time*.  I can't tell you anymore than that.  But I can say the reason I'm announcing it to you is to provide the official reason for his absence, and to encourage you to avoid spreading rumors.  It doesn't do much good to spend time on rumors - I won't confirm or deny them.  I think it's unprofessional to spread them and not respectful of [name] either.  When you're spreading rumors, you're not working.  It doesn't make any sense for me to take questions - thanks for your time."

This is a brief meeting - no more than three minutes.  When you brief the guy, tell him what the official announcement will be, so he will know what has been shared.

Tell others who ask that he has been suspended for an undetermined period of time, and repeat the bit about rumors.  And don't answer any more questions.



[* - Don;t say suspended without pay - his pay is none of their business.  Don't say suspended indefinitely, becuase that is often interpreted as infinitely.  If they ask for the period of time, tell them you're not at liberty to say.]