NEC3 PSC: Does the Client have the ability to suspend works under a PSC Option E contract, or is termination the correct method to cease works?

We have been notified by email that the Client wishes to “suspend” our involvement on our current project. There is no reason provided in the email, and no suggestion of further review or timings of such, although we are aware of a shortfall in funds. The Client is terming this as a suspension to keep the door open for future support, although I don’t believe this option is available under NEC3.

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The ball is in the Employer’s court on this one.

Clause 33.1 states that the Employer my instruct the Consultant to stop work (and, paraphrasing, may later instruct him to re-start it). A reason for such an instruction is not required by the contract.

Notably there is no termination provision for the Consultant to to terminate if the Employer has not instructed the Consultant to re-start work within a certain period of time - see clause 90.

Therefore the Employer can instruct you to stop work until such time as he decides that he wants you to re-start it or he wishes to terminate the contract under the first bullet point of 90.3.