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Document updated/added on 09.10.2020

Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

notice of poor performance appeal meeting
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Notice of poor performance appeal meeting

Notice of poor performance appeal meeting

If you deny an employee the right to appeal against a poor performance warning or dismissal, you will be acting unfairly and in breach of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. Use our notice of poor performance appeal meeting letter when an employee appeals against your performance management decision, to inform them of the date and time of the appeal meeting.

An appealing decision

Once you’ve made your decision to formally warn the employee about their poor performance due to lack of capability or to dismiss them for this reason, it’s essential that you allow them the right of appeal against your decision. This is because you’re required to follow the so-called rules of natural justice and you need to comply with the provisions of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, which applies just as much to poor performance as it does to misconduct. This means, if the employee does appeal, someone other than the original decision-maker should consider the facts to see if the decision reached was fair. Use our Notice of Poor Performance Appeal Meeting to set up the date and time of the meeting, explain the appeal procedure to the employee and confirm their rights.

Grounds for appeal

An employee may choose to appeal on a number of grounds, including that they think your performance management decision was unfair, your penalty was too severe, there were procedural irregularities in relation to your original decision, or new information has come to light which may, for example, be a mitigating factor. The latter might include where the employee has just discovered they have a medical condition or disability and this goes some way towards explaining their recent poor performance. It’s quite legitimate to ask the employee to provide their grounds for appeal so that you can examine in detail whether it has any merit. So, our letter gives the employee the option of submitting their written appeal grounds in advance of the appeal meeting if they wish to do so.

The appeal meeting

If the employee appeals, you must have an appeal meeting in order to comply with the Acas Code; a paper decision isn’t good enough. In addition, the person chairing the appeal meeting should ideally not have been previously involved in the capability procedure taken so far against the employee, to ensure that they are entirely impartial and unbiased. Plus, they should preferably be more senior than the original decision-maker, who was probably the employee’s line manager, to prevent allegations of undue influence. In small businesses where it’s just not possible to have a different manager hear the appeal, the person dealing with the appeal should aim to act as impartially as possible. If you inadvertently committed any procedural mistakes at the original warning or dismissal stage, for example, you didn’t allow the employee the statutory right to be accompanied to the performance review meeting, it is possible to correct many of these defects on appeal. In this case, it’s advisable for the appeal to then take the form of a full rehearing of the poor performance case against the employee, rather than just a review of the original decision.

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