<< Go back

My HR Knowledge Bank

Welcome to My HR Knowledge Bank.  You will find frequently asked questions on all current HR Policies and procedures, links to all policies, useful forms, guidelines and toolkits.

CAPABILITY

Can a grievance be raised by an employee being taken down the capability route?

Yes. It is not unusual for a grievance to be raised either through the Grievance Policy or under the Dignity at Work Policy when performance issues are addressed.

The capability procedure will not stop but a different Human Resources Officer will deal with the grievance or complaint. This will enable both issues to be dealt with at the same time.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.

1/0Voted

Can an employee lose their job through under-performance?

Only if all support interventions fail will dismissal on the grounds of capability be considered an option. Before this happens there will be a full hearing to ensure the Capability Policy and procedure has been followed in a fair and transparent way.

An example of how this may work can be accessed here.

The Council's Capability Policy can be accessed here.

0/1Voted

Can employees bring Trade Union Representatives to informal meetings?

Yes, under the Capability Policy, Trade Union Representatives can attend informal meetings. Trade Union involvement can often be really useful. If this happens the manager should also have someone else with them.

The Council's Capability Policy can be accessed here.

0/1Voted

I'm not sure if my employee is genuinely unable to do this job or is not putting any effort in. How should I deal with this?

In the first instance, use the Capability Policy. If however, it becomes clear that their under-performance is due to laziness, negligence or behaviour and you have evidence to prove this you should immediately suspend the capability procedure and deal with this in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules Policy and Disciplinary Procedure.

Both Council policies and the Disciplinary Procedure can be accessed here.

1/0Voted

If an employee reports sick with stress during the capability process, can the capability issue still be dealt with?

Managers should ensure that when the employee is ready to return to work and attends the Occupational Health & Wellbeing unit that the Occupational Health practitioner is fully aware that the employee is subject to the capability procedure so that a full assessment is undertaken as to whether the employee is well enough to return to work and resume the capability procedure.

Further advice for employees and managers is available from Human Resources.

0/1Voted

What evidence do managers have to collate if they are following the capability procedure?

This information is outlined in the Capability Policy but essentially all meetings, both informal and formal should be recorded accurately and signed off by the manager and the employee as a true and accurate reflection of the discussion around performance.

If the employee refuses to sign the notes of the meeting, the manager should make a note of any areas which the employee does not agree with or a note of the reasons why the employee will not sign the meeting note.

An action plan should be drawn up to set out clearly what areas of work need to improve, outlining the support that will be provided, the timescales around improving performance, and progress against improvement targets.

This plan will then form the basis of all performance meetings and will include an update on progress at every meeting. Again, all action plans should be signed off by both manager and employee. Any reasons why the plan is not signed should be accurately recorded on the action plan document as described above. All documentation may be required if the matter is referred to a Chief Officer with a view of calling a Capability Hearing.

The Council's Capability Policy can be accessed here.

1/0Voted

What happens if an employee has been spoken to about their performance and then reports sick?

If the employee reports sick this should be dealt with using the Sickness Absence Policy in the usual way.

During the return to work interview, the performance issue should be revisited as per the Capability Policy and once the employee has settled back into work (depending on how long they have been off sick), performance discussions should continue.

If ongoing cycles of sickness absence continue and are related to performance discussions, a Human Resources Officer will be able to help in dealing with sickness issues.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.

1/1Voted

What happens if an employee reports sick during their review period?

If an employee reports sick with a minor ailment e.g. chest infection, flu etc then the manager should suspend the review period and resume where it left off when the employee returns.

If, however, the employee goes off sick long-term during their review period, managers should suspend the procedure whilst the employee is absent. On their return to work, it should be made clear that the performance issue has not gone away and the Capability Policy will still be enacted.

If an employee reports sick with a mental health condition e.g. stress, depression etc, managers should raise the issue of performance and the fact that they are being taken down the capability route with the Occupational Health & Wellbeing unit so that a full assessment is made as to whether or not the employee is well enough to return to work and deal with the pressures that the capability procedure may involve.

The Council's Capability Policy can be accessed here.

1/0Voted

What is capability?

Capability refers to an individual employee's ability to perform the work expected of him/her to the required standards.

This may be assessed by reference to skill, ability, aptitude or knowledge in relation to the post to which they are appointed.

Further guidance can be found in the Capability Policy. Poor performance which is a result of carelessness, negligence or laziness is not a capability issue and will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules Policy.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.

1/1Voted

When should an employee be told that they are subject to the Capability Policy?

Poor performance should be raised with an employee in supervision meetings or one to one's as a first measure, at this meeting all issues should be discussed, expectations outlined and the required support agreed. If no improvement is made then the Capability Policy should be implemented and the employee informed of this. The employee should have been made aware that this was a possibility if performance did not improve during previous discussions.

The Capability Policy should only be used once all initial attempts to resolve the performance issues have failed.

The Council's Capability Policy can be accessed here.

1/0Voted