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Workplace suspension for medical and safety reasons

In some cases, your employer may need to suspend you from work due to health and safety issues. In such a circumstance, this article discusses your rights, as well as how you’ll be compensated and what to do if you’re pregnant.

Suspension of work for medical reasons

Your employer is responsible for ensuring your health and safety by taking all necessary precautions. If they believe you are particularly vulnerable to certain toxic chemicals, they have the ability to suspend you from employment.

You may be suspended if you have a serious allergy to a chemical at work or if you are a newly pregnant mother working in a lab that uses radiation.

A risk evaluation should be used to make your employer’s decision.

Only if an employee continues to work for the same company but is not assigned work or does not complete the work that was completed prior to the suspension, is he or she considered suspended from employment.

If, for example, you have a medical condition, you will not be entitled to a paid suspension:

  • You are not an employee if you are self-employed (for example, an independent contractor or freelance worker).
  • If you refuse to do other suitable employment that your employer offers you, you will be fired.
  • You don’t meet any of the standards that are realistic. Your company may need to ensure that you are available for various types of employment if necessary.
  • status of employment.


You have the right to be paid for up to 26 weeks of suspension if you’ve been at your job for a month or more. The salary should be comparable to that of a standard week.

If another suitable job is offered to you, you must accept it or you will lose your entitlement to be paid.

In your work contract, there may be regulations about medical suspension. If you’re supposed to get paid while you’re on suspension, be sure it’s not less than a normal week’s wage. If that’s the case, your boss is responsible for making up the difference.

If you refuse to return to work while you’re on suspension, you’ll lose your right to be paid. This includes tasks that aren’t specified in your employment contract.

If you are pregnant

Your boss must take a close look at the risks to pregnant women and their babies. If there are risks, your employer must protect you and your baby by doing the following:

  • You can change your working conditions and/or hours.
  • If there is any other suitable work available, I will contact you.
  • I will put you on leave for as long as necessary.

If continued attendance would endanger the baby’s health, an employee who is pregnant, has recently given birth, or is breast-feeding may be required to be suspended from work on maternity grounds.

If you are suspended, you are entitled to your full pay, including any bonuses you would have received. Your suspension should be in effect until the risk to you or your baby is no longer present.

Pregnant night workers may face additional health risks. If you have a medical certificate indicating a risk, you should be given a suitable day of work. If none are available, you may be suspended until the health risk has passed.

If you refuse reasonable alternative work, your employer is not required to pay you. An employee has the right to file a complaint with an industrial tribunal if her employer failed to offer her suitable alternative work before suspending her from work on maternity leave.

What should I do next?

Speak with your doctor if your personal health is at stake. If you have a disagreement with your employer, you should follow the grievance procedure outlined in your contract. If nothing is specified in your contract, click the link below.

Check that you are being paid correctly. If your employer can pay you differently during your suspension, it will be stated in your contract or statement of employment.