Can you suspend the employee's access to the IT network and offices?

If you are thinking about suspending an employee’s access to your IT systems and/or your offices, you need to consider:

  • what combination of suspensions to implement (eg only access to the IT network or from offices). Applicable national laws may allow/deal with each type or combination of suspensions differently
  • balancing the risks to the business arising from allowing continued access to IT systems against the risk of prejudicing the employment position by giving the employee grounds to argue that he/she has been treated unfairly
If implemented, make it clear that suspension is only temporary and that full access will be reinstated once any investigation and/or disciplinary process is concluded:

  • consider the effect of any collective bargaining agreements, particularly if they have specific provisions on suspensions of this type
  • local law may affect your ability to suspend an employee’s IT access
  • consider the practical  implications – will you need to set an "out of office" message and what will it say?