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Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan.

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1 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial There are also links embedded in various slides which you can follow to get more detail on a particular subject. These will be highlighted like this as text links, or as graphics with text ( ). Place your mouse over the text or graphic, and when you see the hand ( ) symbol, click. use sidebar menu to the left of the page to go directly to the relevant section you require within sections (and subsections) you can navigate via page numbers if available ( ) and back to main section using the up arrow ( ) or back button ( ) use the button on the top right of the screen to quit the tutorial. Using this Tutorial To navigate through this tutorial: Begin 12 3 Link

2 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Guidelines for Managing Underperformance in the Civil Service Home

3 Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Purpose of this tutorial The objective of this tutorial is to help managers to undertake the task of managing underperformance to the benefit of staff and the Department/Office concerned. With this objective in mind this tutorial includes a step-by-step guide for managers and jobholders to address underperformance issues and sets out the role of HR Units in managing underperformance. This tutorial is based on the Guidelines for Managing Underperformance in the Civil Service. Where appropriate, support will also be provided to you by more senior managers, HR Units and the Employee Assistance Service (EAS). 1 Purpose of this Tutorial

4 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Introduction The Civil Service needs a strong and effective approach to tackling underperformance. Some compelling reasons are: 12 3 An individual, being paid a salary, has a responsibility to contribute efficiently and effectively to their organisations objectives. Negative impact on all staff, e.g. colleagues may resent having to pick up the slack, become overloaded and feel under pressure, or become demotivated due to perceived tolerance of poor performance. Introduction Constructive comment and advice on poor performance assist the jobholder to confront and deal with the issues arising.

5 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Introduction 12 3 While some managers may not be particularly comfortable with tackling underperformance, this reluctance, where it exists, must be overcome and the matter should be dealt with promptly. Significant problems with performance or behaviour rarely correct themselves without direct intervention. In fact, problems with performance tend to become more intractable the longer they are allowed to continue. The underperforming individual may come to feel that his/her performance is acceptable thus making attempts to bring about change more difficult. Introduction

6 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Introduction Where underperformance is dealt with in a constructive and professional manner it can result in performance improvements and the staff member can go on to make a valuable contribution to the Department. Where performance does not improve and the person is ultimately dismissed managers are meeting their responsibilities. Experience shows that all parties benefit from a meeting to discuss matters as early as possible after difficulties have become apparent. 12 3 Introduction

7 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial 4 Follow Up Actions Guide for Managers in Managing Underperformance 2 What is Underperformance? 3 Step-by-Step Guide 1 Role of Managers 5 Supports For Managers Click to see more Guide for Managers

8 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Role of managers As a manager, it is your responsibility to agree realistic targets and monitor the performance of your staff on an ongoing basis. You are also responsible for objectively assessing a jobholders performance based on fact. Any signs of underperformance should be tackled immediately. In this context, jobholders also have a responsibility to contribute efficiently and effectively to your organisations objectives. You should ensure that all issues around underperformance remain confidential and should only be discussed in the formal line management structure. Guide for Managers

9 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial What is Underperformance? Underperformance is ongoing failure to meet specified, realistic objectives and standards. All jobholders have days or even short periods when their performance is not satisfactory and they fail to meet the targets which they have been set. While this will result in episodes where the individual is not performing at a satisfactory level, it will not constitute underperformance as such unless it persists. 12 3 Guide for Managers

10 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial What is Underperformance? It should nevertheless be monitored and managed, through giving constructive feedback to the jobholder concerned, and, where appropriate, agreeing short term targets, reviewing progress towards achieving those targets, etc. Underperformance arises where, despite constructive feedback from the manager, and the putting in place of measures to assist the jobholder to improve his or her performance, it does not improve to an acceptable standard. Where this arises, a formal strategy needs to be put in place to manage the underperformance. 12 3 Guide for Managers

11 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial What is Underperformance? The underlying causes of underperformance can vary greatly and the range of strategies available to tackle underperformance must reflect this fact. Regardless of the underlying cause of underperformance, where the underperformance has been properly addressed by you and satisfactory improvement is not achieved, you and the jobholder should be aware that disciplinary action, in accordance with the Disciplinary Code, can be taken. Disciplinary Code 12 3 Guide for Managers

12 Formal Disciplinary Procedures Paragraph 23 of Circular 14/2006 states that Where an officers conduct and/or performance does not meet the required standard despite informal discussion and/or the procedures under PMDS, the matter will be dealt with as set out in paragraphs 24 - 31

13 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step by Step Guide for Managers on how to manage underperformance Step 1: Identify underperformance via PMDS Step 2: Identify the reasons for / causes of underperformance via the Performance Review Meeting Step 4: Resource the action Step 5: Monitor and provide feedback Step 3: Decide & agree on action required using the Performance Improvement Action Plan The five basic steps required to manage underperformers (click on each for more details) are: Guide for Managers

14 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 1: Identify underperformance via the PMDS PMDS provides the appropriate formal framework through which underperformance should be identified. It is an individualised and specific measurement tool that sets out clearly each individuals agreed role for a 12 month period in terms of what has to be achieved (the what), when it has to be achieved (the when) and the manner in which it must be achieved (the how). In addition, the training required to enable the individual achieve these objectives are agreed and recorded. PMDS Performance Ratings Evaluating Performance Use of Role Profile for Evaluating Performance Step 2 Guide for Managers

15 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial PMDS Performance Ratings RatingDescription 5: OutstandingJobholder has substantially exceeded standard in all role requirements and performance has been consistently exceptional 4: Exceeds required standard Jobholder has fully met all role requirements standard to required standard and significantly exceeded standards in some respects 3: Fully acceptableJobholder has met all of the role requirements to required standard and performance is at a fully acceptable level 2: Needs improvement Jobholder has met some role requirements to required standard but performance has fallen short in some respects 1: UnacceptableJobholder has met few of the role requirements and performance falls clearly short of the required standard. A rating of 3 reflects that a good level of performance has been achieved. A rating of 1 or 2 in PMDS reflects some level of underperformance and a rating of 1 means that the jobholder will not receive their increment. Guide for Managers

16 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Evaluating Performance All evaluations of performance must be by reference to the Role Profile. Consequently, it is essential that you ensure, in relation to your staff, that their Role Profile clearly states what are the objectives and standards to be applied to the achievement of key tasks. These should be clear, unambiguous and measurable. They should also be realistic and achievable within specified timescales. 12 34 Guide for Managers

17 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Evaluating Performance Formal evaluation of performance is done via the Interim and Annual Reviews. Progress towards achieving the specified objectives and standards is assessed at the time of the Interim Review, and evaluated and rated in the Annual Review. However, you should not wait until the formal PMDS milestones to assess performance. 12 34 Guide for Managers

18 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Evaluating Performance Performance should be monitored on an ongoing basis and regular, constructive feedback should be provided informally by you to the jobholder. Where it is felt it would be beneficial, informal/off the record meetings can be held between you both regarding performance issues. At all times, the integrity and right to privacy of the jobholder must be fully respected. 12 34 Guide for Managers

19 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Evaluating Performance When evaluating performance – whether formally or informally – you should always use transparent, objective criteria and apply them to the standards and objectives set out in the jobholders Role Profile. They should be applied in a structured, logical manner and all conclusions reached must be objective and evidence based. You must always be able to cite factual examples in support of the assessment, whether positive or negative. 12 34 Guide for Managers

20 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile You should examine the jobholders PMDS Role Profile, which sets out in detail: for evaluating performance The objectives and key deliverables required for the job/role for the 12 month period and the timescales within which each objective must be delivered. The knowledge, skills, competencies and standards of performance for the particular job/role. The agreed personal training and development plan to enable the jobholder perform this role effectively. 12 3 4 Guide for Managers

21 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

22 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 Action: The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN Defer any further action until reviewer has decided on the matter. 3 4 Guide for Managers

23 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

24 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 Action: The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN YN Role Profile needs to be re-examined and redefined in detail as soon as possible and appropriate amendments made 3 4 Guide for Managers

25 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

26 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 Action: The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN Role Profile needs to be re-examined and redefined in detail as soon as possible and appropriate amendments made YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

27 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN YN YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

28 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN Action: Defer action until appropriate training has been provided. Actively persue with Training Unit if necessary. YN YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

29 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile Before raising the issue of underperformance with the jobholder, you must be satisfied that: for evaluating performance The Role Profile has been agreed (and understood) with the jobholder (i.e. signed off and is not with the Reviewer). 12 The knowledge, skills, competencies and related standards, required for the role are correctly documented in the jobholders Role Profile Form. The particular element(s) i.e. the objectives, timeframes, skills, competencies and standards, which the jobholder is considered to be underperforming, are identified as requirements of the job in the Role Profile. The personal training and development identified has been delivered. YN Action: Underperformance verified. YN YN YN 3 4 Guide for Managers

30 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile If underperformance is verified, the matter must be addressed. You should now arrange a Performance Review Meeting with the jobholder to formally discuss the jobholders performance. This should be done as soon as possible after you have become aware that the jobholders performance is not satisfactory. You should not wait until the next PMDS milestone (Interim or Annual Review), unless very imminent, to hold the Performance Review Meeting. The cause(s) of the underperformance will determine the approach to be taken at this meeting. for evaluating performance 12 3 4 Guide for Managers

31 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Use of Role Profile You should be aware that under Section 10(4) of the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Act 2005, disciplinary action in relation to underperformance on the part of a jobholder should not be taken unless measures aimed at improving the performance of the jobholder through training and development: for evaluating performance a)have in relation to that civil servant been introduced and applied, and have failed to result in specified improvement in performance of the civil servant, or b)have in relation to that civil servant no reasonable prospect of resulting in an improvement in performance on the part of the civil servant. 12 3 4 Guide for Managers

32 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 2: The Performance Review Meeting is used to identify the reasons for/causes of underperformance and to agree a Performance Improvement Action Plan to assist the jobholder in improving his or her performance to the required standard, within a specified timeframe. Generally speaking, causes of underperformance fall under one of the following 5 headings: 1 234 Identify reasons for/causes via Performance Review Meeting Step 3 Guide for Managers Sometimes more than one factor will be at play. [1] [1] i.Lack of clarity about goals/expectations. ii.Lack of knowledge/skills/attributes for the job. iii.Clear lack of commitment or effort. iv.Attendance patterns including ill health/sick leave. v.Personal/domestic difficulties.

33 Note on Factors affecting Underperformance Where it is claimed that there have been mitigating factors, for example, increased workload, workplace stress, or other factors such as bullying etc. which prevented the jobholder from performing to the required standard, the manager should follow the procedures set out in A Positive Working Environment (see appendices). If a claim is found to be unjustified then the manager can go back to the process of dealing with underperformance.

34 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 2: Frequently, you will already know, or have a good idea of, the cause(s) of the underperformance. However, in some cases this/these will only emerge in the course of the Performance Review Meeting. A minute of the meeting should be taken to ensure that a clear record of the proceedings is recorded. A template of the steps involved in conducting the Performance Review Meeting and details of what is involved in each step are outlined in the next section. 1 234 Identify reasons for/causes of UP via Performance Review Meeting Step 3 Guide for Managers

35 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 2: Once the reasons for/causes of underperformance have been identified you should proceed in accordance with the different strategies set out under each of the factors below as appropriate. 1 234 Identify reasons for/causes of UP via Performance Review Meeting Step 3 Guide for Managers i: Lack of clarity about goals / expectations ii: Lack of knowledge / skills / competencies iii: Clear lack of commitment or effort iv: Issues arising in the context of ill health / sick leave v: Personal or domestic difficulties Advice on how to proceed where difficult circumstances arise is set out below: vi: Refusal to acknowledge underperformance vii: Longstanding underperformance viii: Avoidance of engagement by jobholder in the process

36 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 2: Regardless of the reasons for/causes of underperformance, you should make it clear to the jobholder in a straightforward, non-threatening manner that: 1 his/her performance is not acceptable and needs to be improved. where underperformance does not improve it is a ground for disciplinary action if issues identified are not addressed and actions set out in the Performance Improvement Action Plan not delivered within the set timeframes, disciplinary action will be considered. You should also advise the jobholder that the Civil Service Disciplinary Code provides for a range of sanctions in proven cases, the most severe of which is dismissal.range of sanctions 234 Identify reasons for/causes of UP via Performance Review Meeting Step 3 Guide for Managers

37 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of clarity about goals / expectations It is essential that you are clear on your role and responsibilities in relation to your staff members knowledge of goals and expectations and the effect that this area of managerial duty can have on the performance of your staff. In some cases performance problems in staff can arise because you have failed to: Clarify requirements and expectations, e.g. objectives, standards and priorities. Provide adequate encouragement, guidance, support or information. Set reasonable or attainable objectives and standards or have arbitrarily changed tasks or priorities. i 12 3 ii Guide for Managers

38 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of clarity about goals / expectations It is crucial, therefore, that you should: Ensure that all staff reporting to you contribute to the development of the Business Plan for your area and that they are clear on their individual roles in the implementation of the Plan. Ensure that each individual member of staff is clear on his or her particular objectives as expressed in their Role Profile Form and the standards to be upheld and met in achieving same. Ensure that when an individual takes up a new position they should be given a clear job description. Give regular objective feedback on performance to your staff and not just at the relevant times in the PMDS cycle. This feedback should acknowledge good performance and identify, in a constructive manner, performance that is not satisfactory. i 12 3 ii Guide for Managers

39 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of clarity about goals / expectations It is important for jobholders to recognise that they too have a responsibility to seek clarification from you – as their manager – regarding goals/expectations. i 12 3 ii Guide for Managers

40 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of knowledge / skills / competencies for the job ii Where, at the Performance Review Meeting, it becomes clear that lack of knowledge/skills/competencies are preventing the jobholder from reaching a satisfactory standard of performance, the Performance Improvement Action Plan to deal with the issues should focus clearly on measures which will be put in place to assist the jobholder to improve his or her performance. You should advise the jobholder that you both have a responsibility to address the matters identified. In discussion with the jobholder, you should establish the most appropriate measures or combination of measures. 12 3 iii Guide for Managers

41 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of knowledge / skills / competencies for the job ii These can include any or all of the following and a record should be kept by you of all such measures provided to the jobholder: Coaching from a more experienced peer or you, the manager. Self-managed learning by the jobholder of specified material. Specific formal training arranged by Training Unit. In relation to formal training, Training Unit should be consulted to identify the most appropriate and suitable training available and ascertain the earliest timeframe in which it could be provided. This will need to be done before the Action Plan is finalised. 12 3 iii Guide for Managers

42 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Lack of knowledge / skills / competencies for the job ii In certain, limited, circumstances, a bad fit between the jobholder and his or her current job may be at the root of the underperformance issue. In such cases, further development/support measures may be unlikely to result in attainment of satisfactory performance in that job. Such measures as were undertaken should be documented. Provided the jobholder has shown a commitment to perform well generally, you should consult with HR Unit and evaluate if a transfer to a more suitable position within the Department would be a more appropriate measure. HR Unit will only facilitate transfers in such cases where it is shown that all reasonable measures to address the underperformance issue have been taken locally. 12 3 iii Guide for Managers

43 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Clear lack of commitment or effort iii A jobholder whose performance is not satisfactory because of his or her lack of commitment or effort is unlikely to disclose that as the reason. There can be many reasons for this, ranging from embarrassment, defensiveness, denial etc. As long as there are no other factors at play, a reasonably tough while fair-minded approach should be taken by you at the Performance Review Meeting. iv 12 Guide for Managers

44 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Clear lack of commitment or effort iii You should cite concrete examples in support of your contention. Examples could include: poor attendance and/or lack of punctuality on the part of the jobholder; inadequate preparation for work tasks or events; poor quantity and/or quality of work output; ignoring guidance/advice on the optimal way to deal with the work; letting colleagues down; etc iv 12 Guide for Managers

45 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Issues arising in the context of ill health / sick leave iv You may find that a staff member has poor attendance arising from high amounts of sick leave. Attendance patterns may be the sole issue to be addressed or there may be other related performance difficulties, such as non achievement of goals. The first step in addressing any issues relating to ill health or sick leave is to follow the procedures set out in the Management of Sick Leave Circular 09/2010. You should not deal with sick leave absences as an underperformance matter unless you have first addressed the matter as a sick leave issue. 12 v Guide for Managers

46 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Issues arising in the context of ill health / sick leave iv Where you believe that ill health or sick leave are leading to underperformance, you need to act with sensitivity and care. Please be aware that: 12 v See Also: a)equality legislation prohibits discrimination in employment on any of the 9 grounds, one of which is disability and b)information about a persons health is deemed to be sensitive personal data for the purposes of Data Protection legislation and as such is accorded special protection. Certified sickness absence Ill health not resulting in sickness absence Uncertified sickness absence Employee Assistance Service Guide for Managers

47 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Certified sickness absence On the jobholders return to work you must hold a Return to Work Meeting, as set out in Circular 9/2010 (Sick Leave Circular).Return to Work Meeting Where there are difficulties in meeting the requirements of the job and the targets agreed at the Return to Work Meeting are not being met, they should be revisited with the jobholder. You can at this point ask HR Unit to refer the case to the EAS. You could also consult with HR Unit and evaluate if a transfer to a more suitable position within the Department would be a more appropriate measure. (HR Unit will only facilitate transfers in such cases where it is shown that all reasonable measures to address the issue have been taken locally.) 12 Guide for Managers 1)

48 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Certified sickness absence Where, following either a Sick Leave Review Meeting or a Return to Work Meeting, there is still a difficulty with attendance, you should have the case referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) through your HR Unit.Sick Leave Review MeetingReturn to Work Meeting This is particularly the case where stress is the reason for the sick leave. 12 Guide for Managers 2) 3)Once all reasonable steps have been taken by you and your Department, and the jobholder has been certified as fit to return to work by the CMO, you should begin to deal with the issue as an underperformance matter and hold a Performance Review Meeting.

49 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Uncertified sickness absence Some jobholders may have a combination of certified and uncertified sick leave, or just high levels of uncertified sick leave. While certified sickness absence should de dealt with as outlined previously, good practice requires monitoring of uncertified sickness absence by managers and HR Units. Certain patterns of uncertified sickness absence may signal that a jobholder has difficulties showing commitment to their job. Thus, a jobholder who regularly takes 5 or more days of uncertified sickness absence in any 12-month period may be in difficulty. 12 3 Guide for Managers

50 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Uncertified sickness absence Situations where jobholders regularly take uncertified sickness absence when their annual leave allocation has been exhausted may also need to be addressed. Similarly, jobholders who regularly have uncertified sickness absence on a Monday and/or Friday may have issues that need to be addressed. You should be aware of the Civil Service Drugs and Alcohol policy and related guidelines, available from your HR Unit and you should ask the HR Unit to consult the CMO if you have any concerns. As with certified sick leave you need to approach a problem with uncertified sick leave with sensitivity and tact. See what you should make staff aware of when dealing with high rates of sick leave. 12 3 Guide for Managers

51 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Uncertified sickness absence 1) A Sick Leave Review Meeting should be held where the jobholders pattern of absence is a cause for concern (Sick Leave Circular 09/2010). You can ask the HR unit to refer the case to the CMO and can also refer the case to the EAS.Sick Leave Review Meeting 2) Where you have made all reasonable efforts to address the matter and it becomes clear that the matter is not one of genuine ill health, then the matter should be dealt with by holding a Performance Review Meeting or as a disciplinary matter. It is legitimate for you, during the Performance Review Meeting, to refer to uncertified sickness absences and probe whether these absences are in any way connected to the underperformance. 12 3 Guide for Managers

52 Discounting Discounting refers to the practice whereby one off or non- recurring illnesses are not taken into account when calculating the number of sick days taken by an officer.

53 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Ill health not resulting in sickness absence It may be that the jobholder is suffering from an illness which has affected their performance but has not led to any sickness absence. Where this becomes evident, you should consult your HR Unit for advice. HR Units deal with issues of this nature on a case-by-case basis. Guide for Managers

54 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Employee Assistance Service It is always open to you to seek the advice of an Employee Assistance Officer (EAO) in relation to issues arising from sickness absence; and/or to encourage the staff member concerned to avail of the services of the EAS. Guide for Managers

55 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Personal or domestic difficulties v In cases of personal and/or domestic difficulties the confidentiality of the discussions between you and the jobholder is paramount. Some jobholders may not be aware that a particular personal or domestic problem is impacting on their work performance and when made aware may take immediate remedial actions themselves to improve performance. Others may need greater flexibility on a temporary basis i.e. with regard to attendance. While you should be aware of the special leave provisions, details of which are available from HR Units, you should use your discretion to accommodate the jobholder with arrangements acceptable to both of you. Such arrangements should be monitored. 12 345 vi Guide for Managers

56 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Personal or domestic difficulties v In some instances jobholders will disclose that they have personal problems but refuse to accept that these problems are having an effect on their work performance. It is of vital importance that, at the Performance Review Meeting, you can supply factual information, specific examples, etc. which do not match the agreed objectives/targets and timeframes shown on the Role Profile and/or Interim Review forms. 12 345 vi Guide for Managers

57 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Personal or domestic difficulties v Jobholders, having confided a personal problem to you, should be offered appropriate support. You should not act as a counsellor to the jobholder concerning the difficulties they are encountering. Instead, you should strongly encourage the jobholder to seek advice from the EAS. Some jobholders may be reluctant to contact the EAS themselves so you should discuss the possibility of you intervening on their behalf. 12 345 vi Guide for Managers

58 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Personal or domestic difficulties v You should be aware of your responsibilities with regard to staff. In this regard where there is a risk to someones well being you should contact the EAS. Particular care should be taken to ensure that underperformance due to personal or domestic problems is not handled in such a way so as to exacerbate the difficulties being experienced by the jobholder. It is essential that you take into account the particular individual circumstances. 12 345 vi Guide for Managers

59 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Personal or domestic difficulties v You should discuss and agree a Performance Improvement Action Plan with the jobholder specifying what is to be achieved, what supports will be put in place, and the timeframe in which this is to happen. The Action Plan should also specify the checkpoint dates when you will review progress on the Action Plan. 12 345 vi Guide for Managers

60 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Refusal to acknowledge underperformance vi This is not a cause of underperformance. However, where a jobholder refuses to acknowledge or accept that he or she is underperforming, you will need to demonstrate that this is the case. This should be done by reviewing the jobholders work in conjunction with his or her Role Profile. While acceptable performance of tasks should be acknowledged, unacceptable performance should be clearly explained. 12 vii Guide for Managers

61 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Refusal to acknowledge underperformance vi When explaining, you should state in relation to each of the relevant tasks/aspects of the job what is an acceptable level of performance and, using examples, the areas in which the jobholders performance has fallen short of this standard. If, following this process, the jobholder continues to refuse to acknowledge underperformance; you should consult with your HR Unit. 12 vii Guide for Managers

62 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Longstanding underperformance vii This is a particularly difficult issue to deal with. It can arise because the underperformance was never tackled before; or because all previous efforts at tackling it failed to resolve it. Notwithstanding the history of the underperformance, as the current manager, you should make best efforts to now deal with it. Using the jobholders Role Profile, you should review the jobholders work performance as indicated earlier in this tutorial and follow the template for the Performance Review Meeting. You should only focus on the current Role Profile and the current work performance of the jobholder and not on past performance. 12 3 viii Guide for Managers

63 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Longstanding underperformance vii In discussing solutions, you could consider an incremental approach to seeking to improve the jobholders performance, if he or she deems it to be appropriate. By confining the initial remedial approach to smaller, manageable blocks of work, you can avoid the jobholder becoming overwhelmed or daunted by the task. For example, you could, in the Performance Improvement Action Plan, elect not to deal with all performance issues at once. Instead, a specific, time bound task or project could be specified in the Action Plan. 12 3 viii Guide for Managers

64 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Longstanding underperformance vii When the specified task/project has been completed (or the agreed timeframe has passed, whichever is sooner), you could meet with the jobholder and review the performance of that task or project. Depending on the outcome, additional time bound tasks/projects can then be set and reviewed at the agreed checkpoints. If this approach succeeds, it should be continued until the jobholder reaches a consistently satisfactory level of performance. 12 3 viii Guide for Managers

65 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Avoidance of engagement by jobholder in the process viii You may find that when you actively start the process of dealing with underperformance staff may get defensive and in many cases take sick leave as an avoidance measure. This can happen at the informal or formal stages of the process. There should be no delay in dealing with this issue. If, in the course of dealing with underperformance issues, extended sick leave is availed of by the jobholder, the matter should be referred immediately to your HR Unit for consideration as to whether the matter should be referred to the EAS and/or the CMO for their views. 12 Guide for Managers

66 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Avoidance of engagement by jobholder in the process viii Likewise, if HR Units receive a medical certificate in these circumstances then they should consider whether the matter should be referred to the EAS and/or the CMO for their views. If the CMO certifies the person fit to work and says that it is a management issue, and the jobholder does not return to work, then consideration should be given to removing the officer from the payroll. 12 Guide for Managers

67 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Depending on the cause of the underperformance indentified as part of Step 2, you may deem it necessary to consult the EAS and/or seek advice and support from HR Unit. Otherwise, you should proceed to draw up a Performance Improvement Action Plan. Click here to see what the Performance Improvement Action Plan should specify. Step 3: Decide & agree on action required at the Performance Review Meeting using the Performance Improvement Action Plan 12 Step 4 Guide for Managers

68 The Performance Improvement Action Plan should specify: The areas (i.e. relevant Key Tasks on the Role Profile) where there has been unsatisfactory progress. The progress which is required to be achieved over the period of the Action Plan. The timeframes which will apply to achievement of progress. The support measures which will be put in place, when, and by whom (including development measures such as coaching, self-learning, formal training; and, in cases of personal/domestic difficulties, any other support measures to be provided, with timeframes). The intervals at which progress will be reviewed during the lifetime of the Action Plan. The date when overall progress achieved in the Action Plan will be reviewed and evaluated. A statement that, in the event that satisfactory progress is not achieved in the timeframe specified, consideration will be given to invoking the Disciplinary Code.

69 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial The Performance Improvement Action Plan should be signed and dated by both you and the jobholder. The Plan should be retained locally, with you and the jobholder each holding a copy of the signed document. The Plan should not be forwarded to HR Unit, but you should inform HR Unit that a Plan has been agreed. A sample Performance Improvement Action Plan is available in the next section. Step 3: Decide & agree on action required at the Performance Review Meeting using the Performance Improvement Action Plan 12 Step 4 Guide for Managers

70 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 4: Resource the Action It is necessary, as outlined in each the strategies in Step 2, to provide the coaching, training, guidance, experience or facilities that are required to enable the actions agreed in the Performance Improvement Action Plan to happen. Where necessary, Training Unit and HR Unit should be contacted to ensure that these requirements are put in place promptly. Step 5 Guide for Managers

71 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Step 5: Monitor and Provide Feedback You should monitor progress under the Performance Improvement Action Plan ensuring that improvements are made and supports provided within the agreed timeframes. Overall progress should be reviewed at the agreed review date. Feedback should be provided and agreement should be reached on any further actions that may be necessary. Guide for Managers

72 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Follow Up Actions Where you have made concerted efforts to address underperformance of a jobholder, in line with this tutorial, and the jobholder has failed to improve his or her performance to a satisfactory standard, you can legitimately start disciplinary action. Taking disciplinary action means that you must follow the Civil Service Disciplinary Code, which sets out the procedures involved in invoking the Disciplinary Code. See Points to note.Points to note Guide for Managers

73 Follow Up Actions – Points to note Before starting to take any disciplinary action the manager should consult with HR Unit. A strict procedure must be observed, as set out in the Disciplinary Code, when taking disciplinary action and it is essential that this procedure is adhered to. The Disciplinary Code provides for the following range of disciplinary actions which may be taken against a jobholder, following application of the disciplinary procedures: Placing a formal written note on the jobholders file in HR Unit. Deferral of an increment. Debarment from competitions or specified competitions or from promotion for a specified period of time. Transfer to another office or Division or geographical location. Withdrawal of concessions or allowances. Placement on a lower rate of remuneration. Reduction in grade or rank. Suspension without pay. Dismissal. Irrespective of the strength of a disciplinary case, where correct procedures are not adhered to, the case may fall.

74 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Supports for Managers You can expect support in dealing with underperformance from: your manager; and the Employee Assistance Service; and HR Unit The appropriate level for formally dealing with underperformance may be the line manager, or, in certain departments, there may be a policy that more senior managers within the department must also be involved. You should consult with your HR unit to confirm the policy in your own department on this. 12 3 Guide for Managers

75 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Supports for Managers Prior to entering the formal procedure, performance issues are dealt with by the immediate manager. Where required, at the informal stage, you will receive advice, support and back up from your own manager (i.e. the second supervisor for the staff member whose underperformance is being managed). HR Unit is also available to advise you. There should be a nominated contact person within HR Units for managers to deal with in this regard. 12 3 Guide for Managers

76 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Supports for Managers The services of the EAS will be available, on a personal basis, to you as required. In the event that the staff member whose underperformance is being managed is already availing of the services of the EAS, the EAS will advise you accordingly and, if required, will arrange for you to have access to the services of an alternative EAO. The Disability Liaison Officer can be contacted where issues involving disability are concerned. 12 3 Guide for Managers

77 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Review Meeting The purpose of the Performance Review Meeting is to establish or clarify the cause(s) of the underperformance and to agree a Performance Improvement Action Plan to deal with it/them. The steps involved in a Performance Review Meeting (click each for more details): Set the Scene Invite Jobholders View Give Managers View Discuss Gaps / Issues Resolution / Solution Managers Confirmation & Agreement Summary of Agreement Performance Review Meeting

78 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Set the scene The meeting should take place in private, in an environment that is comfortable, non-threatening and away from interruptions or distractions. While it is not recommended that another staff member attends the meeting there may be circumstances where you may need to consider whether you should be accompanied by another member of staff e.g. where it is possible that the jobholder may become difficult during the meeting. 12 3 1 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

79 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Set the scene The meeting should be against a backdrop where you have already been giving regular feedback to the jobholder about his or her performance (i.e. not just at Interim or Annual Review meetings), including on aspects of the jobholders performance which are not satisfactory. You should begin the meeting by outlining to the jobholder the objectives of the Performance Review Meeting. objectives of the Performance Review Meeting 12 3 1 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

80 Objectives of the Performance Review Meeting to clarify what are the standards of performance which are expected of the jobholder, in the context of his or her Role Profile. to clarify in what respects the jobholder has been meeting the required standards. to clarify in what respects the jobholder has not been meeting the required standards. to identify the causes of underperformance. to agree a Performance Improvement Action Plan to assist the jobholder to improve his or her performance to the required standard, within a specified timeframe. to ensure that the jobholder is aware that where satisfactory improvement is not achieved, consideration will be given to invoking the Disciplinary Code.

81 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial 12 3 Set the scene At this stage, you should not go into any detail on the objectives. You should wait until the jobholder has been given the opportunity to give his or her views before giving your evaluation. You should advise the jobholder that: –a minute is being taken of the meeting; –a copy of the minute will be provided to them; and –the minute will not be copied to any other party. You should clarify that the purpose of the minute is to help you both by providing a clear record of the meeting. 1 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

82 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Invite Jobholders View Having set the scene, you should invite the jobholder to express his or her own views on their performance. Your approach to the rest of the meeting will be determined by what you learn in this part of the meeting. It is, therefore, important that you should adopt an open, non-judgemental stance and actively listen to what the jobholder is saying. Where the jobholder is not offering specific causes for underperformance, you should be alert to cues which might suggest what the causes are. The disclosed or suggested causes of underperformance can fall into a number of categories. number of categories 2 1 2 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

83 1.that there have been mitigating factors, for example increased workload, workplace stress, or other factors such as bullying etc. which prevented the jobholder from performing to the required standard. Where this happens the manager should follow the procedure set out in A Positive Working Environment. If a claim is found to be unjustified then the manager can go back to the process of dealing with underperformance 2.lack of clear goals/expectations (see strategy)see strategy 3.lack of knowledge/skills etc. (see strategy)see strategy 4.health reasons (see strategy)see strategy 5.personal and/or domestic difficulties (see strategy)see strategy 6.lack of commitment or effort (see strategy)see strategy The disclosed or suggested causes of underperformance are likely to fall into one of the following categories:

84 Lack of clarity about goals / expectations Be clear on your role and responsibilities in relation staffs knowledge of goals and expectations and the effect that your managerial duty can have on the performance of staff. Performance problems in staff can arise because you have failed to: Clarify requirements and expectations, e.g. objectives, standards and priorities. Provide adequate encouragement, guidance, support or information. Set reasonable or attainable objectives and standards or have arbitrarily changed tasks or priorities. It is crucial, therefore, that you should: Ensure that all staff contribute to the development of the Business Plan for your area and that they are clear on their individual roles in the implementation of the Plan. Ensure that staff are clear on their particular objectives as expressed in their Role Profile Form and the standards to be upheld and met in achieving same. Ensure that when an individual takes up a new position they should be given a clear job description. Give regular objective feedback on performance and not just at the relevant times in the PMDS cycle. Feedback should acknowledge good performance and identify, in a constructive manner, performance that is not satisfactory. It is important for jobholders to recognise that they too have a responsibility to seek clarification from you – as their manager – regarding goals/expectations.

85 Lack of knowledge/skills etc. Where, at the Performance Review Meeting, it becomes clear that lack of knowledge/skills/competencies are preventing the jobholder from reaching a satisfactory standard of performance, the Performance Improvement Action Plan to deal with the issues should focus clearly on measures which will be put in place to assist the jobholder to improve his or her performance. You should advise the jobholder that you both have a responsibility to address the matters identified. In discussion with the jobholder, you should establish the most appropriate measures or combination of measures. These can include any or all of the following and a record should be kept by you of all such measures provided to the jobholder: Coaching from a more experienced peer or you, the manager. Self-managed learning by the jobholder of specified material. Specific formal training arranged by Training Unit. 12

86 Lack of knowledge/skills etc. In relation to formal training, Training Unit should be consulted to identify the most appropriate and suitable training available and ascertain the earliest timeframe in which it could be provided. This will need to be done before the Action Plan is finalised. In certain, limited, circumstances, a bad fit between the jobholder and his or her current job may be at the root of the underperformance issue. In such cases, further development/support measures may be unlikely to result in attainment of satisfactory performance in that job. Such measures as were undertaken should be documented. Provided the jobholder has shown a commitment to perform well generally, you should consult with HR Unit and evaluate if a transfer to a more suitable position within the Department would be a more appropriate measure. HR Unit will only facilitate transfers in such cases where it is shown that all reasonable measures to address the underperformance issue have been taken locally. 12

87 Health Reasons You may find that a staff member has poor attendance arising from high amounts of sick leave. Attendance patterns may be the sole issue to be addressed or there may be other related performance difficulties, such as non achievement of goals. The first step in addressing any issues relating to ill health or sick leave is to follow the procedures set out in the Management of Sick Leave Circular 09/2010. You should not deal with sick leave absences as an underperformance matter unless you have first addressed the matter as a sick leave issue. Where you believe that ill health or sick leave are leading to underperformance, you need to act with sensitivity and care. Please be aware that: GeneralCertified absence a)equality legislation prohibits discrimination in employment on any of the 9 grounds, one of which is disability and b)information about a persons health is deemed to be sensitive personal data for the purposes of Data Protection legislation and as such is accorded special protection. Uncertified absenceOther assistance

88 Health Reasons On the jobholders return to work you must hold a Return to Work Meeting, as set out in Circular 9/2010 (Sick Leave Circular).Return to Work Meeting Where there are difficulties in meeting the requirements of the job and the targets agreed at the Return to Work Meeting are not being met, they should be revisited with the jobholder. You can at this point ask HR Unit to refer the case to the EAS. You could also consult with HR Unit and evaluate if a transfer to a more suitable position within the Department would be a more appropriate measure. (HR Unit will only facilitate transfers in such cases where it is shown that all reasonable measures to address the issue have been taken locally.) Where, following either a Sick Leave Review Meeting or a Return to Work Meeting, there is still a difficulty with attendance, you should have the case referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) through your HR Unit.Sick Leave Review MeetingReturn to Work Meeting This is particularly the case where stress is the reason for the sick leave. Once all reasonable steps have been taken by you and your Department, and the jobholder has been certified as fit to return to work by the CMO, you should begin to deal with the issue as an underperformance matter and hold a Performance Review Meeting. GeneralCertified absenceUncertified absenceOther assistance 1) 2) 3)

89 Health Reasons Some jobholders may have a combination of certified and uncertified sick leave, or just high levels of uncertified sick leave. While certified sickness absence should de dealt with as outlined previously, good practice requires monitoring of uncertified sickness absence by managers and HR Units. Certain patterns of uncertified sickness absence may signal that a jobholder has difficulties showing commitment to their job. Thus, a jobholder who regularly takes 5 or more days of uncertified sickness absence in any 12-month period may be in difficulty. Situations where jobholders regularly take uncertified sickness absence when their annual leave allocation has been exhausted may also need to be addressed. Similarly, jobholders who regularly have uncertified sickness absence on a Monday and/or Friday may have issues that need to be addressed. You should be aware of the Civil Service Drugs and Alcohol policy and related guidelines, available from your HR Unit and you should ask the HR Unit to consult the CMO if you have any concerns. As with certified sick leave you need to approach a problem with uncertified sick leave with sensitivity and tact. See what you should make staff aware of when dealing with high rates of sick leave. GeneralCertified absenceUncertified absenceOther assistance

90 Health Reasons HR Assistance It may be that the jobholder is suffering from an illness which has affected their performance but has not led to any sickness absence. Where this becomes evident, you should consult your HR Unit for advice. HR Units deal with issues of this nature on a case-by-case basis. Employee Assistance Service It is always open you to seek the advice of an Employee Assistance Officer (EAO) in relation to issues arising from sickness absence; and/or to encourage the staff member concerned to avail of the services of the EAS. GeneralCertified absenceUncertified absenceOther assistance

91 Personal/Domestic Reasons In these cases the confidentiality of the discussions between you and the jobholder is paramount. Some jobholders may not be aware that a particular problem is impacting on performance, and when made aware may take immediate actions to improve it. Others may need greater flexibility on a temporary basis i.e. with regard to attendance. While you should be aware of the special leave provisions, details of which are available from HR Units, you should use your discretion to accommodate the jobholder with arrangements acceptable to both of you. Such arrangements should be monitored. A jobholder may disclose that they have personal problems but refuse to accept that these problems are having an effect on their work performance. It is of vital importance that, at the Performance Review Meeting, you can supply factual information, specific examples, etc. which do not match the agreed objectives/targets and timeframes shown on the Role Profile and/or Interim Review forms. 12

92 Personal/Domestic Reasons Jobholders, having confided a personal problem to you, should be offered appropriate support. Dont act as counsellor to the jobholder concerning their difficulties. Instead, you should strongly encourage them jobholder to seek advice from the EAS. Some jobholders may be reluctant to contact the EAS themselves so you should discuss the possibility of you intervening on their behalf. You should be aware of your responsibilities with regard to staff. In this regard where there is a risk to someones well being you should contact the EAS. Particular care should be taken to ensure that underperformance due to personal or domestic problems is not handled in such a way so as to exacerbate the difficulties being experienced by the jobholder. It is essential that you take into account the particular individual circumstances. Discuss and agree a Performance Improvement Action Plan with the jobholder specifying what is to be achieved, what supports will be put in place, and the timeframe in which this is to happen. The Action Plan should also specify the checkpoint dates when you will review progress on the Action Plan. 12

93 Lack of commitment or effort A jobholder whose performance is not satisfactory because of his or her lack of commitment or effort is unlikely to disclose that as the reason. There can be many reasons for this, ranging from embarrassment, defensiveness, denial etc. As long as there are no other factors at play, a reasonably tough while fair-minded approach should be taken by you at the Performance Review Meeting. You should cite concrete examples in support of your contention. Examples could include: poor attendance and/or lack of punctuality on the part of the jobholder; inadequate preparation for work tasks or events; poor quantity and/or quality of work output; ignoring guidance/advice on the optimal way to deal with the work; letting colleagues down; etc

94 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Invite Jobholders View Particular difficulties which may arise, irrespective of cause, are where the jobholder denies or refuses to acknowledge that there are issues with his or her performance or refuses to engage in the process at all.refuses to acknowledge refuses to engage Finally, where underperformance has persisted for a long time and has either not been tackled up to now, or attempts to redress it have not resulted in acceptable performance, effective strategies can be difficult to find.where underperformance has persisted 2 1 2 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

95 Refusal to acknowledge underperformance This is not a cause of underperformance. However, where a jobholder refuses to acknowledge or accept that he or she is underperforming, you will need to demonstrate that this is the case. This should be done by reviewing the jobholders work in conjunction with his or her Role Profile. While acceptable performance of tasks should be acknowledged, unacceptable performance should be clearly explained. When explaining, you should state in relation to each of the relevant tasks/aspects of the job what is an acceptable level of performance and, using examples, the areas in which the jobholders performance has fallen short of this standard. If, following this process, the jobholder continues to refuse to acknowledge underperformance; you should consult with your HR Unit.

96 Avoidance of engagement in the process You may find that when you actively start the process of dealing with underperformance staff may get defensive and in many cases take sick leave as an avoidance measure. This can happen at the informal or formal stages of the process. There should be no delay in dealing with this issue. If, in the course of dealing with underperformance issues, extended sick leave is availed of by the jobholder, the matter should be referred immediately to your HR Unit for consideration as to whether the matter should be referred to the EAS and/or the CMO for their views. Likewise, if HR Units receive a medical certificate in these circumstances then they should consider whether the matter should be referred to the EAS and/or the CMO for their views. If the CMO certifies the person fit to work and says that it is a management issue, and the jobholder does not return to work, then consideration should be given to removing the officer from the payroll.

97 Longstanding underperformance This is a particularly difficult issue to deal with. It can arise because the underperformance was never tackled before; or because all previous efforts at tackling it failed to resolve it. Notwithstanding the history of the underperformance, as the current manager, you should make best efforts to now deal with it. Using the jobholders Role Profile, you should review the jobholders work performance as indicated earlier in these Guidelines and follow the template for the Performance Review Meeting. You should only focus on the current Role Profile and the current work performance of the jobholder and not on past performance. In discussing solutions, you could consider an incremental approach to seeking to improve the jobholders performance, if he or she deems it to be appropriate. 12

98 Longstanding underperformance By confining the initial remedial approach to smaller, manageable blocks of work, you can avoid the jobholder becoming overwhelmed or daunted by the task. For example, you could, in the Performance Improvement Action Plan, elect not to deal with all performance issues at once. Instead, a specific, time bound task or project could be specified in the Action Plan. When the specified task/project has been completed (or the agreed timeframe has passed, whichever is sooner), you could meet with the jobholder and review the performance of that task or project. Depending on the outcome, additional time bound tasks/projects can then be set and reviewed at the agreed checkpoints. If this approach succeeds, it should be continued until the jobholder reaches a consistently satisfactory level of performance. 12

99 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Give Managers View At the Scene Setting part of the meeting, you will have outlined the specific areas in which performance has not been satisfactory. In this part of the meeting, you should take account of what you have learned when the jobholder expressed their view and proceed accordingly. You should review the jobholders performance by reference to their Role Profile, taking each Key Task in turn and giving positive or negative feedback as appropriate.review the jobholders performance by reference to their Role Profile All feedback should be addressed to the performance, not the personal attributes, of the individual. 3 12 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

100 Evaluating Performance All evaluations of performance must be by reference to the Role Profile. Consequently, it is essential that you ensure, in relation to your staff, that their Role Profile clearly states what are the objectives and standards to be applied to the achievement of key tasks. These should be clear, unambiguous and measurable. They should also be realistic and achievable within specified timescales. Formal evaluation of performance is done via the Interim and Annual Reviews. Progress towards achieving the specified objectives and standards is assessed at the time of the Interim Review, and evaluated and rated in the Annual Review. However, you should not wait until the formal PMDS milestones to assess performance. 12

101 Evaluating Performance Performance should be monitored on an ongoing basis and regular, constructive feedback should be provided informally by you to the jobholder. Where it is felt it would be beneficial, informal/off the record meetings can be held between you both regarding performance issues. At all times, the integrity and right to privacy of the jobholder must be fully respected. When evaluating performance – whether formally or informally – you should always use transparent, objective criteria and apply them to the standards and objectives set out in the jobholders Role Profile. They should be applied in a structured, logical manner and all conclusions reached must be objective and evidence based. You must always be able to cite factual examples in support of the assessment, whether positive or negative. 12

102 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Give Managers View The feedback should be expressed in constructive terms. As far as possible, you should cite factual examples in support of the views you are expressing. These illustrate the point you are making. In a case where a jobholder does not appear to accept that they are underperforming, examples can provide a means of demonstrating the underperformance. In relation to underperformance, you should outline what the impact has been (eg. consequences of missed deadlines; increased workload for colleagues and/or manager; effect on customer service/image of the Section/ morale in the Section etc.). 3 12 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

103 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Discuss Gaps / Issues You should next initiate a discussion with the jobholder in which any gaps in information or understanding (on either side) can be clarified, and any issues arising from differences in perception can be discussed. The objective for this part of the meeting is to try to achieve a shared understanding of what the issues are and work towards agreement on what strategy will be put in place to address the issues. 4 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

104 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Resolution / Solution Having identified what are the issues, both you and the jobholder should then proceed to discuss realistic approaches to resolve them. The approach will be decided in the context of the cause(s) of the underperformance. See the different strategies outlined at Step 2 of this tutorial for guidance. 5 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

105 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Managers confirmation & agreement Following the discussion, you should state what you consider to be an acceptable approach to resolving the issue(s) and over what timeframe. 6 Next Step Performance Review Meeting

106 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Summary of Agreement The details of the measures to be adopted to deal with the underperformance, and the relevant timeframes, should then be set out in the Performance Improvement Action Plan. Both you and the jobholder should sign the Action Plan and you should inform HR Unit that a Plan has been agreed. 7 Performance Review Meeting

107 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 1.Description of Key Task(s) where progress has been unsatisfactory (as on Role Profile): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

108 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 2.Issues identified at Performance Review Meeting in relation to Key Task(s): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

109 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 3.Specific Progress/Improvements to be achieved in Key Task(s) and timeframes: Progress/Improvements requiredTimeframes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

110 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 4.Supports to be provided, by whom, timeframes: SupportsBy whomTimeframes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

111 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 5.Progress review dates: 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

112 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Improvement Action Plan Sample 6.Signatures Signed (Jobholder): __________________________ Date: _______________ Signed (Manager): ___________________________ Date: _______________ The purpose of this Action Plan is to clarify what performance improvements are to be achieved by the jobholder in the stated timeframe(s) and the supports which will be put in place to assist the jobholder to make the improvements. This process is founded on the expectation that the jobholder will achieve the specified improvements. However, where satisfactory improvement is not achieved, the jobholder should be aware that consideration will be given to invoking the Disciplinary Code. 12 3456 Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample)

113 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Role of HR Units The role of HR Units in managing underperformance is crucial in supporting managers to manage performance and to address underperformance. To strengthen the approach to managing performance it is important that at least one member of HR Units has responsibility and is accountable for performance policy (including PMDS, management of underperformance, discipline) and that the role provides opportunity to strengthen policies in these areas. Performance Management Framework for addressing underperformance matters Role of HR Units

114 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Management The extent to which underperformance problems are addressed is generally a reflection of the overall performance management culture in a department. The role of HR Units in managing underperformance starts with a proactive role in performance management within the Department. In the absence of a strong performance management culture it is unlikely that managers will tackle underperformance. PMDS is the first step in addressing any underperformance issue by providing the basis for identifying underperformance and HR Units role in performance management is crucial. 1 12 2 Role of HR Units

115 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Performance Management HR Units have a role in designing and reviewing PMDS which may involve taking new approaches to strengthen performance management including for example, running workshops for managers and staff, providing advice and support materials to staff and managers and ensuring there is compliance with the system. To strengthen their approach to performance management HR Units could engage in ……………...HR Units could engage in ……………... 1 12 2 Role of HR Units

116 Strengthening Approach to Performance Management HR could engage in some or all of the following in terms of strengthening their approach to performance management: Monitoring and enforcement of compliance Auditing quality of PMDS Regular reporting to Management Advisory Committee (MAC) Regular workshops with managers on aspects of PMDS such as goal setting, monitoring performance, strengthening performance, ratings Guidelines and resources for managers Staff surveys Training for new managers Be visible to all the organisation where you are proactive Increase transparency on ratings and compliance whilst maintaining the confidentiality of individual ratings

117 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Framework for addressing underperformance matters While the manager has primary responsibility for dealing with underperformance of their staff member, HR units have an important role to play in developing a culture and awareness of the need to address underperformance and also of supporting managers in dealing with it. One of the main reasons that HR units perceive that underperformance is not dealt with is because managers fail to do so. To support managers HR unit should provide: 2 Skills DevelopmentAdvice/Assistance Role of HR Units

118 Skills Development Ensure that managers have full awareness of all relevant guidelines and procedures e.g. grievance, discipline, bullying and harassment, absence management etc. Review the extent to which managers consider themselves able to deal with underperformance Hold workshops and train managers on how to address underperformance Engage with managers as to why they may be reluctant to address underperformance matters Provide guidelines to managers on managing underperformance and related policies (these can be adapted from Part II of the Guidelines for Managing Underperformance in the Civil Service) Challenge managers who complain of underperformance but do not address it directly (e.g do not move staff on the basis of underperformance unless the manager can show they have attempted to address the issue) Introduce a requirement for management training as part of year 1 following promotion to management positions Develop the skills of managers in addressing underperformance through a range of strategies, for example:

119 Advice/Assistance Strongly support managers who address underperformance in the proper way Nominate a person in their Unit who will act as the contact for managers on this issue. Managers should be notified of the name and contact details of this person. The contact should have a clear understanding of how to manage underperformance effectively and the strategies available to managers Identify, in consultation with managers, whether they need to take over the management of the underperformance matter where it becomes a serious disciplinary matter Follow up promptly with managers who give ratings of 1 or 2 as part of PMDS to ascertain what action is being taken to facilitate the jobholder to improve performance to a satisfactory standard Be proactive in following up probation reviews for staff on one-year probationary contracts and staff who are recently promoted Audit the steps taken by the manager and the documentation relating to each of the steps to ensure the manager has followed correct procedures Provide advice and assistance to managers on managing underperformance including:

120 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Appendices Guidelines on Managing Underperformance in the Civil Service Civil Service Disciplinary Code – Circular 14/2006 Management of Sick Leave – Circular 9/2010 A Positive Working Environment – Circular 23/2005 Appendices The following documents referred to in this tutorial can be downloaded at www.personnelcode.gov.ie :www.personnelcode.gov.ie

121 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Thank you for taking this tutorial Click the close button on top right of screen to finish. Guidelines for Managing Underperformance in the Civil Service

122 Home Introduction Purpose of this Tutorial Guide for Managers Appendices Role of HR Units Performance Review Meeting Performance Improvement Action Plan (Sample) Using this Tutorial Using this Tutorial Click here to return to your last viewed page Using this Tutorial There are also links embedded in various slides which you can follow to get more detail on a particular subject. These will be highlighted like this as text links, or as graphics with text ( ). Place your mouse over the text or graphic, and when you see the hand ( ) symbol, click. use sidebar menu to the left of the page to go directly to the relevant section you require within sections (and subsections) you can navigate via page numbers if available ( ) and back to main section using the up arrow ( ) or back button ( ) use the button on the top right of the screen to quit the tutorial. To navigate through this tutorial: 12 3 Link

123 Sick Leave Review Meeting Sick leave review meetings are required where an officers pattern of absence is of concern – see paragraph 14. the meeting shall be confidential and carried out in a positive and supportive manner. The discussion will concentrate on issues related to absence rather than medical matters. In general, the purpose of a sick leave review meeting will be: To advise the officer of his/her sick leave record for the past twelve months, and the previous four years as appropriate, and of the impact of sick leave on career progression and increments; To identify and address any problem (work-related or otherwise) that may have caused or contributed to the absences; To discuss discernible patterns of absences where appropriate; To ensure that the officer is fully aware of the sick leave regulations/policy; To refer to the requirement for reliability and emphasise the necessity for teamwork and impact of absences on all officers; To identify practical steps that might be taken to reduce absence levers in the future; and To draw the officers attention to the services provided by the Employee assistance Officer and Disability Liaison Officer. The officer should be given notice of the meeting which should state the purpose of the meeting and include a copy of his/her sick leave absences. The manager should confirm with the officer that s/he is available to attend the meeting and should choose an appropriate setting where the meeting can be conducted in private and without interruption. It is important that a manager is fully prepared before conducting a sick leave review meeting. The meeting should generally be conducted in a structured fashion. Managers should have a set of topics they wish to cover to help identify any underlying causes of absence. It the officer expresses concern about disclosing the reason for the absence, an assurance should be sought from the officer that it was not work-related. The officer should be reminded of the sick leave regulations and the consequences of exceeding the limits. When the meeting has concluded, the manager must forward written confirmation to the Personnel Unit that a sick leave review meeting has been held together with any other information the officer or manager may feel is relevant. A copy of this documentation should be agreed with and given to the officer.

124 Return to Work Meeting Officers should attend a return to work meeting after every instance of long-term certified sick absence primarily to facilitate the officers transition back to work. It is not envisaged that the return to work meeting should be a time-consuming or very formal process. The level of formality required needs to be assessed by line managers who will take special cognisance of the circumstance surrounding the long-term sick leave on a case-by-case basis. The officer should be given notice of the meeting and such meetings should, where possible, take place no later than the first week after the officer returns to work. The manager should confirm with the officer that s/he is available to attend the meeting and should choose an appropriate setting where the meeting can be conducted in private and without interruption. The purpose of the meeting would generally include: Welcoming the officer back to work; Establishing whether any further practical steps may be taken to facilitate the officers transition back to work; Updating the officer on work developments, where appropriate; Identifying any updates needed to the officers PMDS Role Profile Form; If necessary drawing the officers attention to the services provided by the Employee Assistance Officer and Disability Liaison Officer. When the meeting has concluded, the manager must forward written confirmation to the Personnel Unit as soon as possible that a return to work meeting has been held together with any other information the officer or manager may feel is relevant. A copy of this documentation should be agreed with and given to the officer.

125 High rate of sick leave Sick leave is not an entitlement, it is a facility offered to jobholders. The sick leave regulations restrict the circumstances in which sick leave may be taken and confer on the Head of the Department (i.e. the Secretary General) the power to grant sick leave. There is a facility for staff to take up to 7 days uncertified sick leave over any 12 month period. However, this should be the exception rather than the rule. Where you suspect that sick leave is being abused you can advise staff that uncertified sick leave is a privilege, not an entitlement, and that the facility can be removed if abused. Managers/HR units can require a certificate be given for all sickness absences, and in dealing with attendance problems with staff they should make them aware that unapproved uncertified sick leave may result in non-payment for the period of the absence. Where a staff member has 56 or more days of sick leave in any 4 year period (certified and/or uncertified) that has not been discounted [ * ] they are not allowed to apply for promotion. Where a staff member has 56 or more days of sick leave in any 4 year period (certified and/or uncertified) and/or where there is a concern about abuse of sick leave, it is recommended that an increment be withheld. In dealing with a high rate of sick leave you should make staff aware that: * Discounting refers to the practice whereby one off or non-recurring illnesses are not taken into account when calculating the number of sick days taken by an officer.


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