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The terms suspension and stand down are very different from one another and are often confused. Suspension occurs when an employer requires an employee to not attend work, generally because of the need for a workplace investigation to be undertaken into an issue or incident that has occurred. During a suspension period, an employee is paid. Stand down allows an employer to stand an employee down without pay if the employee cannot usefully be employed because:

  • of industrial action (other than industrial action organised or engaged in by the employer);
  • a breakdown of machinery or equipment;
  • if the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for the breakdown; or
  • a stoppage of work for any cause for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for.



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