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What is the Best Way to Manage Someone Out of a Company?

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You made an error of judgment in the hiring process, or maybe you’ve been lumbered with a non-performing employee as part of an internal move.
Whatever the reason, managing someone out of a company is difficult for all involved. Jennifer Davies advises a reader on the right way to do it.

 

Dear Daily Slog,

What is the best way to manage someone out of a company without breaking employment law?

 I know this seems harsh but despite our best efforts to train and mentor this person, they have just not made the role their own and we have to hold our hands up and admit that we were wrong to hire them.

 Can you help?

 

Dear Reader,

It is always a gamble when hiring new staff. It is difficult to assess whether the person you have hired will work out based on just an interview and assessment process. Some people just don’t fit the organisation, don’t fit the role or do not have the relevant skills and experience to be competent in their role – despite what they told you at interview or what their CV says!

Competence is a fair ground for dismissal but you have to make sure that you follow fair procedures and natural justice to ensure that you manage an employee out of a company without breaking employment law.

The answer to your question is two-fold and depends on whether the employee has less than or more than 12 months service. For employees with more than 12 months service, unfair dismissal legislation applies.

 

Provide clear expectations throughout this process so that the employee understands the level of performance expected of them.

 

First off you will need to have implemented a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) should the employee’s performance not be up to the required standard.

Provide clear expectations throughout this process so that the employee understands the level of performance expected of them. Ensure that you have given the employee ample support throughout, provided extra training where relevant, and give them ample time to improve. Should the employee’s performance not improve to the required standard you must invoke the disciplinary process.

The employee should be given a written warning that a failure to improve and to maintain the performance required could lead to his / her dismissal. If there is still no improvement after a reasonable time, they should be issued with a final written warning that they will be dismissed unless the required standard of performance is achieved and maintained. If such improvement is not forthcoming after an agreed period of time, they should be dismissed.

 

If you don’t have a disciplinary procedure, get one, if not, you’re already breaking employment law.

 

Throughout this entire process you must ensure that you apply fair procedures. The employer must give adequate written notice to the employee inviting them to the formal disciplinary meetings. This letter should include:

  • the reason why they are being invited to a disciplinary meeting
  • what the outcome of the meeting could be i.e. dismissal
  • a statement outlining that the employee has the right to representation at this meeting (generally this is a work colleague or trade union representative)

Within this disciplinary meeting the employee must be given the right to respond to any and all allegations or complaints made against them. They are entitled to a bias free hearing and the outcome must not be predetermined i.e. the outcome cannot have been decided prior to the meeting.

The outcome of the disciplinary meeting must be communicated to the employee and the employee must be given the right to appeal the decision. This appeal must be heard by another unbiased individual who has not dealt with the case prior to this point.

 

My one piece of advice is to make sure you follow your disciplinary procedure and afford every employee with their right to fair procedure and natural justice.

 

If the employee has less than 12 month’s service the answer is slightly simpler. Unfair dismissal legislation does not apply to employees with less than 12 months service (in most circumstances) and so you can effectively skip many of the steps above, however, you must always follow fair procedure.

I would recommend that you provide the employee with clear and objective feedback in relation to how and where they are not performing to the required standard. Provide them with additional support, training and the chance to improve. At this point you should be outlining that should they not improve within the allocated time period then they will be dismissed. Should they not improve, then you can let them go.

My one piece of advice is to make sure you follow your disciplinary procedure and afford every employee with their right to fair procedure and natural justice. As part of your legal obligations as an employer, a disciplinary procedure and a grievance procedure must be issued to all new employees along with their contract of employment.

If you don’t have a disciplinary procedure, get one, if not, you’re already breaking employment law.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Davies is a HR Consultant, Career Coach & Owner of Captured HR Consultancy based in Cork, Ireland.

For more information on her services visit www.CapturedHR.ie

Jennifer Davies Captured HR

If you have a career issue you would like help with email the details to us at contact@thedailyslog.com and we will source a suitable professional to help. All correspondence will be kept confidential.

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