Frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions.

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My employer has threatened a performance improvement process (or has started one) – does this make a difference?

If your employer has already started a performance improvement process, or has threatened to start one, then in our experience there’s a good chance that a settlement offer will be made to you by your employer (particularly if you have more than two years’ continuous service and can therefore bring an unfair dismissal claim against them, should you be dismissed for performance reasons).

Employers are normally keen to explore settlement if allegations of poor performance have been made against an employee, for the following reasons:

  1. A performance improvement process (“PIP”) requires quite a lot of management team and business resources to undertake: the employer will need to ensure that the employee is provided with the appropriate training and mentoring, that they’re aware of what targets they need to make and are given feedback on how they’re doing, and that the employee is given the appropriate time to improve their performance. Offering a settlement agreement, in these circumstances, can mean that the employer avoids having to expend a lot of resources on carrying out a performance improvement process;
  2. Performance improvement processes take a lot of time to undertake, as your employer will normally need to give you between four weeks and eight weeks to start and finish a PIP. Offering a settlement agreement allows your employer to expedite the process, should the parties agree settlement terms; and
  3. You may have a claim against your employer in the Employment Tribunal if you are dismissed for performance reasons – this could potentially range from a claim for unfair dismissal to a claim of disability discrimination. Settling your claim (via a settlement agreement) will allow your employer to limits its liability to you, and avoid a claim being brought against it in the Employment Tribunal

If you’ve been threatened with, or put under, a performance improvement process then get in touch with us to speak with one of our expert employment solicitors.