Employee Performance and Absence Management

Good performance management is critical in any business. It will typically include managing employees’ behaviours and measuring performance against specific targets and outcomes. It allows employers to determine everyone’s performance and make considered decisions about rewarding, supporting and developing staff.

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Where necessary, a reasonable performance management process allows employers to dismiss staff who prove themselves unable to perform adequately despite reasonable support.

To ensure that you correctly navigate employee performance issues and absence management, our HR professionals will be on hand to lend their support.

Some of the reasons you may require outsourced HR advice from our team include:

  • You need an employee performance review to be carried out by someone who is external to the organisation (this may be to demonstrate independence in the process or because your own managers are reluctant)
  • Your organisation does not have its own dedicated HR team to handle employee performance and absence management issues
  • Your existing HR team does not have the capacity currently or lack the specialist expertise required to handle challenging employee performance matters

Benefits of working with our HR Business Partners

  • Manage your employees’ performance more effectively
  • Respond quickly and with confidence to any performance issues
  • Reduce the risk of employment claims
  • Avoid the potential for future problems with robust HR practices

Our CIPD qualified and highly experienced HR Business Partners can offer tailored and highly accessible HR advice to employers in a wide range of industries, including in relation to employee performance and absence management.

Learn more about how our HR business partners can assist with:

Don’t see what you need support with? Our HR Business Partners have vast experience in advising on most issues that employers will find themselves facing, so will be happy to support you.

Speak to our employee performance solicitors today

If you’re looking for outsourced HR advice on employee performance and absence management, get in touch with our experts today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

Our employee performance and absence management expertise

Performance management

Performance management should be a combination of informal discussions and a more formal process.

Employers should ensure that all employees:

  • Know and understand business values and business strategy
  • Know what is expected of them in line with business goals and personal objectives
  • Have reasonable training to deliver on these expectations
  • Are supported by their employer to develop their potential in meeting these expectations
  • Are provided with feedback on their performance

An appraisal system is a useful means of measuring employee performance. Appraisals allow the employer and employee to agree and set future targets and include methods to address performance issues if targets are not met.

If an employee knows what is expected of them, has been supported to achieve that and has failed to do so, warnings may be justified and, if necessary, dismissal.

Our HR Professionals can provide all of the support and guidance you need in relation to employee performance at work. We can advise you on the steps you need to take as an employer to effectively manage workplace performance, as well as your potential options if your expectations are not met.

Absence management

Employees may need time off for a variety of reasons, from short-term sickness to longer-term health issues. There may be circumstances where employee absence is costly to a business, including to the wellbeing of the different employees involved. Therefore, employers should manage such absences in a fair, consistent and sensitive manner that accounts for both the needs of the individual, as well as the business.

Short-term and longer-term absences will be dealt with differently. Short-term absences might be for less serious illnesses such as the cold or flu. But sometimes a longer-term illness can produce ad hoc short-term absences. Frequent short-term absences can often prove to be even more disruptive to a business than a longer-term absence.

Employees who are off work sick for more than four weeks are often regarded as being on long-term sick leave and that will sometimes change which policy an employer adopts (if there is a written policy).

An absence management process can encompass:

  • Appropriate reporting of sickness by the employee (including when sick notes are required)
  • Appropriate monitoring of sickness and contact by the employer
  • Establishing the cause of illness
  • Obtaining and providing suitable medical evidence
  • Return to Work interviews
  • Potential referrals to Occupational Health
  • Exploring reasonable adjustments or alternative employment
  • Arrangements for sick pay
  • Dismissal (if appropriate)

It is important to remember that, where an employee’s illness amounts to a disability, they will be protected under the Equality Act 2010. Employers may have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to a disabled employee’s working arrangements or conditions.  However, the obligation is only to do what is reasonable and to behave in a way that is proportionate.

Often the key is ensuring there has been full consultation with the employee before decisions are made. An employee who is dismissed for reasons related to their absence is much less likely to bring a claim if it has not come as a surprise and if they feel they have been supported.  Similarly, they are far less likely to win a claim if they do decide to bring one.

Our HR Professionals will be on hand to advise you on your current absence management processes and help you to address any individual absence issues that may be having an impact on your commercial operations.

What does employee performance mean?

To summarise, employee performance will refer to an individual’s ability to carry out their job role and execute their designated responsibilities. It will take into account various factors, including the quality of an employee’s work, their value to the business, and how consistent they are on a daily basis.

How can you improve employee performance?

There are a number of ways in which you can measure and subsequently improve employee performance. Exactly what steps you take will vary depending on your circumstances, but typical steps are likely to include:

  • Having clear metrics to measure employee performance
  • Having benchmarks and targets in place
  • Defining objectives for individual employees
  • Effective communication
  • Creating a two-way communication channel with employees
  • Rewards and recognitions

Why work with us?

  • Decades of specialist employment law and HR expertise for a wide range of clients
  • Strong skills in amicably resolving workplace disputes
  • High level experience with Employment Tribunal claims
  • A complete service for all aspects of employment law and HR

Speak to our employee performance solicitors today

If you’re looking for outsourced HR advice on employee performance and absence management, get in touch with our experts today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.