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Suspension plans prompt concerns over pay

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By Josh Loeb

Proposed new powers that would enable the RCVS to temporarily suspend vets and vet nurses under investigation have prompted questions about who would pay the salaries of those affected.

The interim suspensions proposal is part of a package of measures put forward by the college’s Legislation Working Party (LWP) (VR, 13/20 June 2020, vol 186, pp 580–581).

The college believes that it needs to be able to suspend a vet professional while their case is being investigated when they have been accused of a gross misdemeanour, such as deliberately harming an animal, because such a case has the potential to damage the reputation of the profession.

Human healthcare regulators – such as the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council – are already able to temporarily suspend members of their respective professions while they investigate them.

However, one practical difficulty with the LWP’s proposal concerns the issue of payment.

Newly elected RCVS council member Richard Stephenson, who has concerns about the proposal, told Vet Record: ‘It is generally a principle of employment law that suspension is a …

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