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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49866
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I Oct 2013 I had an appraisal and was scored as Clear development

Customer Question

I Oct 2013 I had an appraisal and was scored as Clear development need. however, notation of specifics were not forthcoming. At the beginning of Feb just before the next appraisal I was told I was now in fact working at Level. I have a copy of an email sent from the Divisional HR Partner showing this as our store HR admin had to send scores across. The UM had his appraisal 2 weeks later. He came into store the following day and said that he had been told he wasn't working to level and that as he wasn't I couldn't possibly be higher than him. I was informed that I would be 'at action' and given a Personal improvement plan. I have not received the Feb Appraisal. I was due a 4 week review on the 19th May at 10am the UM forgot and it wasn't until the HR cluster Manager for the region came into store the following week that it was highlighted. During the 4 weeks the UM had said that my dept had moved forward and my team were more engaged and said well done. When it came to the formal meeting he actually gave me a written warning. The warning was handed to me 5 days later informing me that specifics were included. They were not. I have repeatedly asked for a meeting with him to discuss specifics and have only had one whereby I was told lead by example put a PDP and Succession plan in place and also a sales plan. The UM is at the end of the week is taking 2 weeks holiday, I have asked that he sit down with me yet again to give me guidance on what is required whilst he is away. The meeting was set for yesterday at 10.30am but did not happen. There are inconsistencies throughout but my main question is, Is he able to treat me like this?. My understanding is that it is the appraisal scores that show whether I need to be put on a PIP and not as a reflection of his Appraisal. I feel that it will be a forgone conclusion in the next meeting I will receive a Final Written Warning.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-fyht1x69- :

Since 2006

Ben Jones :

have you appealed the warning?

JACUSTOMER-fyht1x69- :

Hello, did you get my reply?

JACUSTOMER-fyht1x69- :

No I haven't

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

How an employer treats employees when it comes to assessing performance is generally an internal affair and it is the employer that decides what rules and procedures are to be followed. As you can imagine, different industries and sectors could have entirely different ways of performance assessment and management, hence why the employer retains the general right to undertake the necessary procedures as they see fit.

I would nevertheless agree that if you are appraised personally in your appraisal and it comes out satisfactory, just because someone above you performs worse in their appraisal it should not affect your own outcome. That is on the condition that no new information has come out at their meeting which could influence the outcome of yours.

The key rights would really kick in once the employer consider moving towards potential dismissal because if they were to rely on the performance procedure to instigate a dismissal they would need to ensure that a fair procedure has been followed.

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.

Until then you are left with internal appeals against formal sanctions taken against you, as well as a potential grievance against the employer if necessary.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks