The default position is that employees are entitled to be paid during a suspension period.
The exception to the default position is that employees should be wary of the fact that should they unreasonably delay the disciplinary hearing the employer does not have to pay the employee for the extended suspension.
In the case of Msipho and Plasma Cut (2005) 26 ILJ 2276 (BCA), the employee was entitled to be represented by a union official. The employee did not make the necessary arrangements with the union official to represent him during his disciplinary hearing. The employee request for postponement of the disciplinary which was granted by the Chairperson. The hearing was held 6 weeks later. The employer did not pay the employee for the six weeks that he was on suspension.
The employee referred a dispute for unfair labour practice, claiming that he did not receive payment during the 6 weeks suspension.
The Arbitrator confirmed that the employee was aware of the date of the disciplinary hearing, furthermore it was the responsibility of the employee to arrange his own representation. The employee failed to make the necessary requirements and request the postponement of the disciplinary hearing.
In the above case the Arbitrator rule in favor of the employer confirming that the employer did not need to pay the employee during the extended six weeks suspension (own emphasis).
In a Nutshell: It is therefore very important for our members to inform MISA, immediately should their employers suspend them for the necessary arrangements to be made to apply for representation and to refer an unfair labour dispute should the employee be on suspension for an excessive period.
Remember MISA is just a phone call away