, sorry I was offline by the time you replied. Just because you have been placed on a PIP does not necessarily mean the employer is trying to remove you from the business. I certainly understand it can be a shock and leave you feeling deflated but do not assume the worst just yet.
As you have more than 2 years’ service you will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that the employer would be obliged to show there was a fair reason and also follow a fair procedure. Whilst capability, which includes performance, is a fair reason , the key would be the procedure followed by the employer and I will explain that in a bit more detail below:
So as mentioned, an employee's poor performance is a potentiality fair reason under the Employment Rights Act 1996, as it would amount to lack of capability. This should be assessed by reference to an employee's "skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality" and must relate to the work that they were employed to do.
In order dismissal performance to be fair, an employee must be warned that they need to improve, be given reasonable targets within a realistic timescale and be offered appropriate training and/or support during the monitoring period.
Generally, the reasonableness of such dismissals would be measured against the following criteria:
The above are just examples and what a tribunal would generally look deciding the reasonableness of a dismissal. If there is a genuine belief or evidence that the employer has acted in a rather heavy-handed manner and not satisfied at least some of the above requirements, the dismissal could be challenged. But as mentioned there is no guarantee this would end in dismissal just yet – they are just at the start of the PIP and before dismissal is even contemplated you would expect them to give you more opportunities to improve.
So monitor the situation and see if it appears that they are genuinely trying to help you or that they are trying to force you out by being unreasonable and not recognising the efforts you are putting in to improve.
Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you
Thanks Ben. Why would one use this humiliating procedure in order to genuinely try to help me? Why is it necessary? I thought you'd say - read it as they want you out. Please explain why would this be anything else? I think it's just the way I've been discussing my promotion recently is incorrect. Anyway, it's really a long story so can you please just answer my question. Also, I would like to talk to the HR rep about this and ask their point of view - what specific questions would you recommend me to ask? Do I have the right to not accept this PIP? The company policy says such plans are not part of the disciplinary procedure. Although at the bottom of the PIP there is a sentence saying 'we may take a disciplinary action...'.
Would you advise to get a legal advice?
Which I am trying to get from you but it's a matter of at least 2 hours conversation I suppose.
Would a company treat a talent in such a humiliating way? Or should I really view it as an 'opportunity'...?Thank you.
I would appreciate a quick response.
- I really need an urgent answer...
, I cannot say you should red it because they want you out because I have seen many examples where someone has gone through a PIP and kept their job in the end. Unfortunately I have no idea what the employer’s actual intentions are so I cannot tell you what the outcome would be – only they know that. Getting legal advice at this stage is pointless – there is not much a lawyer can do to help you, we only really get involved if it is clear you are leaving and maybe we can negotiate a settlement or if you have been dismissed and you are considering the tribunal process to challenge that. So in the circumstances it may be best as I mentioned earlier to see where the employer takes this and with time you will be able to determine what their intensions were, but at this early stage you are unlikely to have many rights, such as resigning an claiming constructive dismissal – not enough has happened to give you the right to claim.
Can I clarify anything else in relation to this?
Thanks response Ben. It's not about keeping my job really - it's about how I feel. I need to trust that 'the PIP process should be viewed as an opportunity to focus on development area's in a structured manner'. It's critical to believe (I struggle at the moment) that they really want to help me. E.g. one of my Development areas that has previously been in my Development plan (as something to focus on in order demonstrate I am able to perform at the next - SnMgr - grade), has been transferred to the this plan - 'to alarm me up and really focus on this.'
I said I never said that I need a project lead role to be able to demonstrate this. I said I wanted a lead role because 1.5 years ago I've been told that I need to have a formal lead role in order to progress to the next stage (which is true, they said that to me, and actually I had lead roles already). So this explanation of mine is taken as I am not getting feedback on board.
Yes, whilst I acknowledge that this is an area where I need to develop further, I don't quite understand why it's a show-stopper if I have excellent client feedback from some big projects in this area, e.g. 'The contribution made by J to this process has been invaluable, both in terms of her leadership and her contribution to the solution.
J is exceptionally skilled in organising and structuring the approach and ensuring that the plan is adhered to. She does this in a collaborative and professional way demonstrating an attention to detail and rigour that I have rarely seen.
I have found J to be a fantastic sounding board when discussing issues and her logical and reasoned approach has greatly benefited the programme; she is quite an inspirational character.
In the end the solution has to work, and I think that J’s contribution has meant we have a solution that will withstand implementation and is future proofed. J is a great asset to the 'My Company' brand.
, sorry we are not always available as we practice law outside of this site, hence why there may be occasional delays.
Going back to your query, what are you actually hoping to achieve and what assistance do you require from me. I see that this is a personal issue and understand that but all I can advise on is the legal position so I cannot really get too personal and discuss whether the reasons PIP are right or wrong? Thanks
Ben - thanks back to me. I've chosen a high priority option and - based on my previous experience with this site - the expert always responded very quickly or they would let me know when they'd back online.
I understand you can't provide any further advice.Thanks.
ok you are welcome
Ben - actually there's one question that you could answer from the legal perspective. Do I have the right not to accept this PIP? Particularly that it was initiated after the talent review meeting, not after the mid-year performance review?
is there a specific PIP policy and does it state when it can be introduced?
An employee can be placed on a performance plan at any time and even if there is no specific procedure dealing with it. The employer does need a written policy to be able to place someone under performance review. It is not a formal sanction against someone and more of an opportunity to help employees deal with apparent performance issues before further more formal action is considered. You can refuse to participate in this but if the employer feels it is unreasonable then they could treat this as insubordination and if they also believe that the performance issues have not improved they could jump straight to disciplinary action, so bear that in mind.
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? Thanks