The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Employees with sufficient length of service and who otherwise meet the qualifying criteria have statutory protection from unfair dismissal (see Entitlement to claim unfair dismissal and Qualifying period for unfair dismissal). To avoid a finding of unfair dismissal, employers need a fair reason to dismiss. One of the potentially fair reasons for dismissing an employee is capability or performance (see Reason for dismissal—general — Potentially fair reasons). However in order to dismiss an employee fairly because of his performance, the employer must also follow a fair procedure which allows the employee sufficient opportunity to improve. Ultimately it must be shown that dismissal is a fair sanction to impose.
For details of the aims of performance management, the impact of bonuses and incentive schemes, how to monitor performance, performance procedures and dealing with poor performance, see Managing performance.
For the initial considerations when dealing with an issue of poor performance, see Managing performance — Dealing with poor performance: Initial considerations.
An employer could dismiss an employee for poor performance without going through any particular procedure if:
the employee does not qualify to have protection from unfair dismissal, and
the employer is satisfied that it is not at risk of a claim for unfair dismissal of a type for which no qualifying period is required (see Qualifying period for unfair dismissal —
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