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Capability Dismissal

Employment Law

What is a Personal Improvement Plan?

Your employer may tell you that your work is not meeting their required standards and you will be put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). This may be because you have not met business targets or you have been making mistakes. It may be unfair because you have recently had to deal with a new line manager.

If you do not agree that these performance allegations are correct, then you might want to raise a grievance if you feel that this is an unfair performance improvement plan. This could be due to the issues have been caused by management. Or you believe you are being treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic such as your age, sex or race due to PIP discrimination.

Performance Improvement Plan Employee Rights

Your employer must follow a fair capability process to be able to institute a dismissal on grounds of capability. Otherwise you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. Before being put on a Performance Improvement Plan, they should talk to you about the performance issues and find out what you think is the cause of the problem. This may require them to provide training or mentoring as part of your personal improvement plan.

Any agreed targets or goals should be realistic and achievable and there should be regular meetings to discuss these.

If you believe that the capability concerns have been caused by your ill-health then this should be taken into consideration. If your illness is a disability as defined by the Equality Act then reasonable adjustments should be made to the performance improvement process so this is not an illegal performance improvement plan. This is to avoid performance review discrimination and legal action.

How can Martin Searle Solicitors help you?

We can show you how to fight a performance improvement plan. This may involve helping you raise a formal grievance or by challenging a performance improvement plan. We might help you appeal your performance review or a dismissal on grounds of capability by identifying your strongest arguments in order to defend yourself.

If you have been offered a Settlement Agreement as an alternative to dismissal on the grounds of capability, we can advise you as to your performance improvement employee rights. If you want to leave your employment, we will advise what would be a fair amount of compensation in your Settlement Agreement. If appropriate, our Settlement Agreement lawyers will negotiate more money on your behalf. We can also ensure you receive a basic reference.

For expert advice on unfair performance review legal advice and PIP legal advice including capability dismissal, contact our Employment Law Team today on 01273 609911, or email

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