Tricky Dismissals: 'The Unusual Under-performer' - Vista
unfair dismissal

Tricky Dismissals: ‘The Unusual Under-performer’

Here’s the second in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them.

Here’s scenario two:

‘An employee’s performance has dropped significantly, what should I do?

Before you engage a formal process, it’s important to identify the cause of the drop off in performance.

To do this we find it helpful to split the issue into two categories for the purposes of diagnosis, these are: can’t do and won’t do. Essentially, we need to work out whether the employee can’t do the job they are required to do (capability) or whether they simply won’t do it (conduct).

If you think you are dealing with a capability problem – explore the reasons behind this. It could be a lack of training, or at the other end of the spectrum and to keep in line with this blogs theme of ‘managing sticky situations’ – it could also be the impact of an underlying medical condition.

If it’s the first option, follow your performance management process. Here’s a quick overview of the performance management cycle to help. If you discover that there is an underlying medical condition that is the reason for the poor performance – deal with it under your medical capability procedure.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to follow a hybrid of the two processes:

  • Medical capability to identify the impact of the employee’s condition on their performance and to address the issue of reasonable adjustments, then…
  • Performance management to assess whether the standard has been achieved once any adjustments have been made.

It could of course be neither of these things! So, if the employee simply won’t do what you need them to do, then it becomes a clear conduct issue and best dealt with through your disciplinary procedure.

Here’s four more sticky situations and how to handle them.

The content provided in this blog is for illustration purposes only and does not of itself constitute legal advice. It is your responsibility to ensure that these blogs are used in the correct context. Where tailored legal advice or further guidance is required it should be sought from a member of the Vista team.

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Employment Law Managing Tricky Dismissals

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