Human Resources

6.0 Formal Performance Management Stages

The employee will be invited to attend a formal performance management meeting and this will be confirmed in writing.  The notification will contain sufficient information about the performance issue and will confirm the employee’s right to be accompanied to the formal meeting.

Normally a minimum of 5 working days written notice will be given to attend a formal performance management meeting.  If the employee’s companion is unable to attend the meeting, it will normally be rearranged within 5 days of the original date of the meeting. 

6.1 Formal Performance Management Meetings

The meeting will be conducted by an appropriate manager who will act as the Chair.  This will not be the employee’s line manager who will have undertaken the informal stage meeting(s).  The meeting will also include a representative from Human Resources. 

The employee’s line manager will attend the meeting to set out the performance concerns to the employee, providing examples and outlining any support, guidance and training already offered/undertaken, and including any evidence from witnesses.  The employee will have the opportunity to state their case fully and respond to the points raised.  The employee will also be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions and present examples of their work as evidence.  They will have the opportunity to call witnesses where advance notice to the Chair has been given and raise points about any information provided by any of the witnesses, but not to cross-examine them.

Prior to making a decision, the performance management meeting will be adjourned to consider all relevant information.  The meeting may also be adjourned to clarify or gather additional information.  If new information is gathered or clarified the employee will be advised of the new information and given a reasonable time to consider it prior to the meeting being reconvened.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Chair in consultation with the representative from Human Resources, will decide whether or not formal action is justified.  If an employee fails to attend a formal performance management meeting without good reason, a decision on the issue may be taken in the employee’s absence.  When the Chair is satisfied that all relevant information has been properly considered the decision, including any sanction, will be communicated to the employee.  If no formal action is taken either because performance is satisfactory or there has been sufficient improvement in performance, the employee will be told of this and encouraged to maintain the performance level.

6.2 Written Performance Warnings

The outcome of the formal performance management meeting may be a written warning.  There are two levels of warnings issued under the formal performance management procedure; a first formal written warning and a final formal written warning.  Any warning imposed should be proportionate to the severity of the case and should be applied consistently.  No employee will be dismissed for a first incident of underperformance. 

A formal performance warning will be in writing and will set out the nature of the performance issues and the improvements required together with the timescales and details of any training and support to be provided. 

The written warning will also inform the employee that performance will continue to be monitored during the period of the warning in line with the targets and standard of work established, and the support put in place. 

The length of the review period will depend on the gap in performance identified.  It is recommended that improvement should be planned over a minimum period of 6 weeks.  An appropriate timescale will be agreed with the employee to allow sufficient time to improve in the areas indicated taking into account any additional training or coaching needed and allowing time for the skills/knowledge acquired to be applied to work.

If performance continues to fall below the required standard at the end of the review period, or at any point during the remainder of the warning, a subsequent performance management meeting will be arranged which may result in a final written warning being issued. 

However, if the employee’s performance significantly falls below the required standard, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning.  This may occur where the employee’s actions have had, or are liable to have, a serious or harmful impact upon the College.  

A copy of a written warning will be kept by the College but will be disregarded for performance management purposes after a specified period, up to a maximum of 12 months, subject to the employee achieving and sustaining satisfactory performance.

6.3 Final Performance Management Meeting

After a final written warning is issued, if performance falls below the required standard at the end of the review period, or at any point during the period of the warning, a final performance management meeting will be arranged.  The meeting Chair, where possible, will be senior to the Chair of the previous performance management meeting and in all cases will not have been previously involved in the case. 

The meeting will follow the format as outlined in 6.1.  A potential outcome of this may be dismissal or some other action short of dismissal, for example a transfer to a different work area or different working pattern.  The decision to dismiss will only be taken by a senior manager of the College, for example the College Secretary or nominee, or the School Manager or Executive Dean as appropriate.  If the decision is made to dismiss, the employee will be provided in writing with reasons for dismissal and the date on which the employment will terminate. This will include the right of appeal.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX