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Performance Capabilty (Academic)

 

Performance Capability pdf(78 kb)

Guidelines for Administration of the Performance Capability Policy for Academic Staff

 

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1. Scope

2. Purpose

3. Application

4. Informal discussion

5. Formal discussion

6. End of review period

7. Formal Disiciplinary Action

8. Review

Appendix 1 - Flowchart pdf(119 kb)

Appendix 2 - Performance Plan pdf(12 kb)

Appendix 3 - Equality Impact Assessment Screening Form pdf(245 kb)

 

 

1. Scope

This policy applies to all academic employees, with the exception of an employee who is serving a period of probationary service, whose case will be dealt with under the Probationary Procedure Support, Review and Guidance.

 

2. Purpose

The aims of this policy are to ensure that:

a) Each employee realises their potential, to the maximum extent possible within their role.
b) The University fully utilises the abilities of each employee.
c) Where poor performance is identified, matters are dealt with thoroughly, promptly and in a fair and consistent manner.
d) Employees are counselled at appropriate stages enabling both the employee and the manager to exchange information and share expectations in relation to the specific circumstances of the case.
e) Appropriate and relevant training, guidance and support is provided to help the employee to achieve and maintain a fully satisfactory standard of performance.

This policy will apply irrespective of race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability.

The University is responsible for creating an environment in which successful performance is encouraged, enabled and rewarded. However, there will be times when an employee does not meet the standards established by the University and identified in relevant job descriptions, person specifications, and role profiles and in the University's Published Shared Values. Failure to meet the standards required by the University may constitute a ‘performance capability issue’. In such cases the procedure which follows will apply.

 

3. Application

In dealing with poor performance, the University distinguishes in general between cases caused by:

a) Misconduct as defined in the Disciplinary Procedure in which case the Disciplinary Procedure may be implemented.
b) Health reasons, when the Procedure for Handling Incapability on Grounds of Health will be used.
c) Reasons of disability, when the Disability Policy and Code of Practice within the Policy on Equality of Opportunity in Employment will be the guidance tool.
d) Reasons related to alcohol and substance misuse, when the 'Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy' may be the starting point and guide; and
e) A declining standard of performance for any reason not covered under a) to d) or a reason which is outside the employee’s control, (e. g. a lack of training or the changing nature of the job). This is where the Performance Capability Procedure below will be used.

It is recognised that these five categories may be inter-related, and there may exceptionally be occasions when it is appropriate for more than one policy or procedure to be used.

 

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Procedure

This procedure commences with an informal discussion and, if applicable, may be followed by a formal discussion, the outcome of which is an agreed performance plan. One or more review periods will be arranged which will be followed by review meetings to discuss progress. Should the performance capability issue not be resolved to the satisfaction of the manager, the Disciplinary Procedure will be commenced (see Flowchart at Appendix 1). pdf(119 kb)

 

4. Informal Discussion

 

There are many reasons why a performance issue may arise. No formal action under this procedure will be taken until the causes of the problem have been properly investigated. For example, the possibility that poor performance may arise from misunderstandings due to ethnic/cultural/gender/disability or other issues will be explored and the relevant policies applied as appropriate.

The manager will notify the employee of the date of the informal discussion. A representative from HR should normally be in attendance at this discussion, and the employee may be accompanied by a colleague who is an employee of DMU or a trade union representative. A note of any such meeting may be placed on the manager’s personal record for the employee, for use in future discussion/s provided that a copy of the note is sent to the individual, normally within five working days of the meeting. Any explanation given by the employee will, where necessary, be investigated, and any evidence will be retained. The manager will decide, in conjunction with HR, whether matters should proceed under one or another of the policies mentioned previously, and will follow up accordingly.

If the manager (supported by HR) decides that the Formal Capability Procedure is the appropriate mechanism to use, they will, taking into account their earlier investigations and any further informal discussion with the employee, consider the matter, after which a variety of outcomes and actions are possible, including the following:

a) The employee’s problems are related to their personal life - reasonable support will be provided where possible and appropriate.
b) The employee’s poor performance is related to a lack of training - reasonable additional support in the form of training or coaching will be provided as appropriate.
c) The employee’s problems emanate from a change in the University’s standards or working methods - the new standards or working methods will be explained to the employee, and reasonable help and retraining will be offered, as appropriate.
d) The employee lacks motivation to perform in the role – encouragement will be given to the employee to fully commit to the role.
e) The established standards are not reasonably attainable by an employee at this level - the standards will be reviewed.

If e) applies, the employee will be informed accordingly as soon as possible and no further action will be taken under this policy at this time.

 

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5. Formal Discussion

If one or more of a) to d) applies, the manager will arrange a formal meeting with the employee at which a performance plan, together with objectives to be achieved will be discussed. A representative from HR should normally be in attendance at this meeting. The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a colleague who is an employee of DMU or a trade union representative. A copy of the plan and objectives will be sent to the employee by the line manager, normally within five working days of the meeting. Should this involve greater attendance at the workplace for support purposes (for example, to attend training events) then this will be made explicit within the performance plan. The employee’s performance will be monitored thereafter on a regular basis for an appropriate period of time, and formally reviewed.

 

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6. End of Review Period

In all cases covered by a) to d) above, at the end of the review period a formal meeting will be held between the employee and their manager. A representative from HR should be in attendance at this meeting. The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a friend or colleague who is an employee of DMU or a trade union representative at which time:

• If the required improvement has been made, the employee will be told that that is the case and be encouraged to maintain the improvement. The outcome of this meeting will be confirmed in writing from the line manager to the employee.

• If some improvement has been made but the required standard has not yet been met, the review period will be extended, normally for not more than three months. Towards the end of the extended review period, a further formal meeting will be arranged. The outcome of this meeting will be confirmed in writing from the line manager to the employee, normally within five days of the meeting.

• If there has been no significant improvement, the employee will be advised that formal disciplinary action will be taken. The manager will explain the main points of the relevant Disciplinary Policy and the possible disciplinary sanctions.

 

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7. Formal Disiciplinary Action

The employee will be invited to a disciplinary hearing in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedure. It will be necessary to produce the documentary evidence and/or file notes of meetings which have preceded the disciplinary hearing. The disciplinary proceedings will commence at Stage II.

 

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8. Review

The Policy will be reviewed from time to time in accordance with legislative changes and best practice. 

 

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Appendices

Appendix 1 - Flowchart pdf(119 kb)

Appendix 2 - Performance Plan pdf(12 kb)

Appendix 3 - Equality Impact Assessment Screening Form pdf(245 kb)

 
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