I am a stand-alone HR Manager in medium sized company. I took over this year after the previous HR Manager left. A few months after I started I was informed by senior management that a member of staff who has been with us for 6 years, was to be performance managed out of the business. I advised an informal performance review should be commenced which was. There was no improvement and as such I have then advised to move to a formal process. The management decided to give another 4 weeks to give him a further period of review. If he does not improve, it looks like he will be invited to a disciplinary and then dismissed.

We are due to hold a meeting with him to set the objectives for the next four weeks, but he wants his manager to be present. The reason the manager is not being asked at this meeting is that the manager has just taken over managing  this individual and instead its the unit head that will hold this objectives setting meeting. The current problem is I am having with this is that the member of staff wants his manager present, the unit head is refusing his request. I have explained to the member of staff that its not a disciplinary meeting so his line manager does not need to be present although I know the manager can be present and I have explained to senior management about having his line present, but they will not allow this to happen!

I should explain the unit head decided to manage this whole issue, as he has been indirectly managing the member of staff historically, so feels he should lead this performance management process.

I feel I am being batted between the employee and the senior management and I do things will get worse. I should also add they do see the whole process as being risky but they are prepared to take the risk and will not go for a compromise agreement straight away.

I apologise if this long winded but I would really welcome some advice as I am on my own on this one. Its good experience but its getting too messy for my liking. Should this happen again in the future I can avoid this by putting proper HR measures into place, but time is not on my side on this one.

Thanks in advance!

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