Disciplinary and Performance Management

Unfortunately, sometimes, an employee’s behaviour or performance can fall below the expected standards. At times like these, it is key that an employer knows how to respond and how to manage these difficulties, to ensure that any issues are not allowed to escalate or exacerbate.

The way the employer approaches such a situation can ‘make or break’ the employment relationship.  We advise employers on how best to handle a disciplinary or performance matter, taking into account the human factors.  Getting it correct at law is sometimes only half the battle.

Another key aspect of a disciplinary or performance issue is the process; a well-written handbook can help a manager or an employer to know exactly how to conduct their relevant processes. In addition, as part of our Outsourced HR Support, we will support those managers and employers throughout the process. In some circumstances this can include us sending a dedicated team member to conduct an investigation or a hearing, as required.

Why does it matter?

Ultimately, performance or conduct can be a fair reason for dismissal. However, if the process is poorly conducted or the decision made does not fall within the reasonable band of responses, an employer could risk a claim of unfair dismissal.

There are also additional risks when dealing with performance and behaviour, if those concerns arise from a disability. For example, if someone’s mental health results in an inability to concentrate. Having assistance throughout a disciplinary or performance procedure means that an employer can respond proactively, and foresee and mitigate potential claims or allegations, rather than being faced with such accusations after the dismissal.

Perhaps most importantly is the ripple effect of handling a performance or conduct matter in an impersonal or thoughtless way.  The employer might avoid any legal repercussions but may end up with disillusioned or disappointed team members, the costs of which could be significant.

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