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HR Tip – Misconduct or incapability?


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HRD & Payroll Solutions continues to bring HR Zone members a range of HR tips. This week’s tip looks at misconduct and incapability.

Q: When should I treat poor performance as a disciplinary matter and when as incapability?

A: Only when you have thoroughly examined the evidence, which must include a discussion with the employee.

Make sure that the performance required is reasonable and, if appropriate, that it compares badly with other employees doing similar work.

You then should decide whether the employee is not capable of doing the work or is not making sufficient effort or, in short, is it a case of “can’t do” or “won’t do”? If the latter, apply your normal disciplinary process with appropriate warnings.

But if you believe that the employee is not capable, do what you can to raise the level of capability, for example by training or adjusting the work equipment. Be sure to produce an agreed written improvement plan. If that fails, try to redeploy the employee.

If none of these measures work you would be entitled to dismiss the employee on the grounds of incapability.

Previous HR tips
Developing women managers
A promotion that failed
Fixing holidays
Holiday for temporary employees
A redundancy problem
Behaviour outside work
Suspension from work
Informing employees of new legislation
Deductions from wages
Children on site
Workplace affairs
Disabled workers
Attitude problems
Redundancy selection
Custom and practice
Working Bank holidays
Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
Time off work for funerals
Translating rules
Banning smoking at work
Burden of proof
Contracts of employment

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