Just an idea
You can specify a deadline and then add some process logic to loop the BPM instance and re-create the task.
Without adding the logic, may be some way to use the escalation.
Yeah I could use various approaches like this but I want to get away from adding additional steps in the process, also the deadline and escalation take place after a set period from the task creation. I want the time to start when the task is suspended.
I should be able to achieve this using an event driven process but I thought there might be cleaner way within the human task workflow!
To do this I think you should create a custom suspend action. In theory: This action will access the Task API, get the Task by ID, suspend the Task and maybe use an EJB Timer to set the waiting period to resume the Task.
Tell me if you find this useful to help you go further.