Thank you. There is very little in law about PIP and how they hould be carried out or applied. In reality this is down to the employer, based on what they are trying to deal with and what they believe needs improvement. For example, there is nothing that says an employee’s full lifecycle performance with the company needs to be taken into account and in fact it is common for a specified period to be looked at. This happens in circumstances like when someone has targets to work to in a specific time period, e.g. a financial year, and failure to meet those could result in performance action being taken by the employer.
For disciplinary or performance action for poor performance to be fair, an employee must be warned that they need to improve, be given reasonable targets for improvement within a realistic timescale and be offered appropriate training and/or support during the monitoring period.
Generally, the reasonableness of such action would be measured against the following criteria:
· Did the employer have reasonable belief in the employee's incompetence;
· Was the situation investigated and was the employee given the opportunity to voice their side of the story;
· Was the employee aware of what was required of them in terms of satisfactory performance;
· Were steps taken to minimise the risk of poor performance through training, supervision, etc;
· Was a proper appraisal conducted and was the problem identified in a timely manner;
· Was the employee told of the consequences of failing to improve and were they actually given the chance to improve their performance;
· Did the employer consider offering alternative employment.
The above are just examples and what a tribunal would generally look for when deciding the reasonableness of formal performance action. 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 action could be challenged. In the first instance you could do this if you have been allowed to formally appeal. If not, you can use the grievance procedure. After that your only options are constructive dismissal, if you believe you have been forced out as a result, or unfair dismissal if you are dismissed because of this.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should you be forced out or get dismissed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you