Wellington bed manufacturer Relyon is said to have suspended a number of employees as it launches an internal investigation.

It is understood the investigation relates to allegations that rules relating to the resale of Relyon beds have been broken.

Relyon declined to comment on the issue this week.

The County Gazette understands a number of workers have been suspended on full pay.

At least two of those suspended are members of the union GMB.

The union’s organiser for the southern region, Tony Dowling, said this week: “I have been contacted by two members who have been suspended while investigations have been carried out but as yet I have had no news of any disciplinary hearings.

“Under law suspension is seen as a neutral act. Our members categorically deny they have done anything wrong.”

In a completely separate development, parent company Steinhoff UK Group confirmed on Tuesday that managing director Chris Tattersall had left Relyon in a bid to streamline its management structure.

Ian Topping, chief executive of Steinhoff UK, said of Mr Tattersall’s departure: “The newly named Steinhoff UK Manufacturing division will include our Relyon and Pritex businesses and will be led by Andy Murdoch as managing director.

“As a result of this change, Chris Tattersall has decided to leave the group.

“Chris has made a valuable contribution to the development of Relyon over his 13 years with the company and I would like to thank him for his considerable effort and achievement and wish him well in the future.”

Last week Relyon said it had decided to implement short time working at its sites across the South-West – including those in Wellington in Taunton - following a sudden downturn in orders.