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erformance problems are most effectively managed as early as possible. In most cases informal discussions between the manager and the employee will resolve the issues. A summary of the informal procedure is provided in the policy flowcharts.

Whilst employees only have the right to be accompanied at formal capability meetings by a trade union representative or work colleague, by agreement with all parties, the request to be accompanied may be extended to the informal stage where this is deemed to be in the interests of an early resolution and where there are particular circumstances where an employee needs additional support. In such cases an independent note taker may also be present.

During an informal discussion the employee should be advised of any performance issues. Feedback should be constructive with the emphasis being placed on finding ways to improve and sustain improvement. The employee should be made aware of:

  • The standards required.
  • How their performance will be reviewed.
  • Over what period their performance will be reviewed.
  • The Capability Policy and associated guidance.

Consideration should be given to reasons behind issues, sources of support and other options (see Support for staff and managers). The employee should also be given the opportunity to provide such feedback and to respond.

If a review period is set, regular review discussions should be held with the employee. A Performance Improvement Plan should be used to record any actions decided and taken and progress during the review period. At the end of the review period, the employee's progress will be reviewed to assess whether or not any further action or support is required. If the employee's performance has not improved to an acceptable standard, consideration will be given to a more formal approach under the Capability Policy.