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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My husband has worked for 36 years as a Branch Manager for

Resolved Question:

My husband has worked for 36 years as a Branch Manager for one financial company and has always performed well. During the last 6 months, the figures have been under less than required. He is now facing a hearing on Tuesday the outcome of which could be a written warning, followed by another warning and then dismissal.
My husband id due for retirement in 2 years 10 months and if any dismissal occurs early he stand to lose £7000 a year in pension, and dependents benefit would reduce by £4500.
after such a long time in positive employment with this same company, and the fact it would have such a dramatic effect on his pen sion, what is his/his company's legal position? ie Can they do this at this stage considering it will have such a negative impact on his long term pension?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Does he have specific targets to work towards?

Customer:

No

Customer:

He has to compare with peer group

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

An employee's poor performance is a potentiality fair reason for dismissal 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 for a dismissal 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 dismissals 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 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.

Sadly it does not really matter whether the person was close to retirement or if their future earnings, for example through a pension, would be affected. The laws on dismissal are not connected to these factors, although as mentioned dismissal is something which will have to take time and only if it becomes necessary.

Customer:

Thank you. We understand the above. It is difficult when performance is rated in terms of figures sold only as some factors are outside of personal control eg the market, customer willingness to buy etc.

Ben Jones :

of course, although that can be inevitable sometimes and the employer must ensure that the targets, or the figures against which performance is based is realistic and reasonable but that can also be difficult to argue and eventually it may only come down to an employment tribunal to decide on, which would usually happen if he gets dismissed and then challenges it

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help today.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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