New Hire a Disappointment?

Published October 20 2022

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Has all the talk about Liz Truss resigning got you thinking about the performance of management in your own business?

If you have appointed someone to a new role recently and have concerns about whether it’s working out, you may be wondering what you can do to tackle the situation.

Here’s four things all managers need to know.

1. Your induction process could be the problem and the solution

A good induction process can help an employee to settle into your business and their new role faster, enabling them to understand what is expected of them right from the start. This makes it important to ensure that your induction process is up to scratch and covers everything you need it to. 

If there are gaps or it isn’t as robust as it needs to be it can make it more likely that issues may arise.

If you haven’t reviewed your induction process for a while, take the opportunity to do so, making any necessary changes could save you time and effort in the long run.

2. Disappointing new hires can be easier to exit than you might think…

… even without a probationary period. This is because employees need to have two years’ service or more to bring an ordinary unfair dismissal claim.

If you have a short-serving employee it may therefore be possible in some circumstances to dismiss without first needing to follow the usual procedures, such as a performance management or disciplinary process.

Remember to always seek advice before dismissing any employee – there are many claims employees can bring from day one of their employment so its important to make sure a quick short-service dismissal is safe for your business.

3. Take care if you are tackling a long serving employee who has changed roles

This could for example be if an existing employee has been promoted. 

As explained above, if an employee has two years continuity of service or more they can claim ordinary unfair dismissal (and/or constructive unfair dismissal) so you need to be particularly careful how you tackle any issues if you are to protect your business.

Your first step will usually be to clearly identify what the problem is so it can be managed appropriately, effectively and fairly using the right process:

  • Poor performance

If you are looking to deal with a performance issue this will firstly usually involve meeting informally with the employee to discuss your concerns regarding their performance, identifying any reasons for it, discussing any support they may need to improve and where appropriate, giving the employee clear and reasonable targets and an appropriate time period in which to improve.

In many cases this resolves the problem, however if it doesn’t you may need to commence a formal performance management process.

  • Conduct issue

The first stage will usually be to carry out a reasonable investigation into the matter.

If it is appropriate to take formal disciplinary action, in outline this will involve inviting the employee to attend a disciplinary hearing in writing, holding the hearing and giving a written outcome and a right of appeal.

Remember the process and any decision should be fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

Managing performance and disciplinary issues can be complicated and it’s important to get it right.

There can be a lot to think about and it’s important to be alert to issues such as disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments.

4. You might want to consider using a settlement agreement

A settlement agreement can be a useful commercial route for employers facing a tricky situation.
If you haven’t heard of a settlement agreement before, in outline it is a legally binding contract, voluntarily entered into by an employer and employee, that prevents an employee from making a claim that is covered by the agreement to an employment tribunal or court.

The employee usually enters into the agreement in exchange for a payment from the employer and their employment ends.

Want to know a bit more about settlement agreements and our settlement agreement service?

Take a look at our previous blog and find out if a settlement agreement could be a good option for your situation get in touch for a chat.

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