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Jenny Mackenzie
Jenny Mackenzie,
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
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My partners son works for a large UK Asset Management firm

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My partner's son works for a large UK Asset Management firm in London. He has worked there for just under 3 years. In January this year they gave him an informal warning stating that they were not happy with his performance and gave him 3 months to improve. At the end of the 3 months in April the period ended and nothing further was mentioned. Last week they told him that they were going to give him a formal warning about his performance and that there would be a meeting with his line manager and someone from HR to talk about a performance improvement plan over a 6 week period, after which his employment could be terminated. His contract of employment has a 3 month notice period, either way. There is no job specification for the role. They have an annual performance review process with specific objectives but the performance issues they have raised with him are not included in the objectives. They have told him that he can have a colleague in the meeting with him if he would like to. He is pretty sure that they want to get rid of him. The firm has been making redundancies recently and he sees this as a cheaper way of them terminating his employment than making him redundant.

What are his options? Can he have legal representation in the meeting and would you advise this. If they do indeed want to get rid of him what should the terms of his dismissal be? Presumably if he is given the chance to improve over 6 weeks then they have to be specific about the improvement areas and they have to prove that he hasn't made an improvement to dismiss him?
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, does he have a role profile or job description which clearly defines his objectives and is he the only person subject to this performance procedure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



He thinks one may exist in the company but he has never seen it. He is the only person subject to this performance procedure.



Hello sorry for the delay in getting back to you I was called away yesterday. The employer should act reasonably when following a performance procedure.

The employer should set out clearly, using the role profile, what the areas of performance are that he is failing to meet targets and give him training and the opportunity to put matters right before they take action to dismiss. A dismissal after a 6 week performance improvement period is unlikely to be considered reasonable or adequate especially if training has not been offered and targets are not clearly defined. If he is dismissed he can bring a claim on the basis that the process was unreasonable and that he believes this has been done in order to avoid paying redundancy pay.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX of dismissal, if he is dismissed it should be with notice in accordance with the contract and he should seek to see if they can agree a reference.

He has a legal right to be represented at the meetings by a work colleague or a trade union representative. The right does not extend to legal representation, although some employers will allow it. My view is that it is not necessary at this stage but if he is dismissed he should seek advise about raising an appeal and a claim.

If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to give my answer a positive rating. Thank you and all the best.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Given that it will take his employer a longer period than 6 weeks plus training and reviews and that we believe that they really want him out (the reasons given to him are not unique to him and commonplace in among his colleagues so it does look like discrimination) would it be worth suggesting that they settle now? Is there any downside in suggesting this if he really believes that at some stage in the future this will happen again (it seems that his manager just doesn't like him)

Hi there is nothing to stop him from asking for a without prejudice discussion to avoid the process. This would not in any way take away his rights to being a claim at a later stage. If agreement can be reached in principle he would be asked to sign a compromise agreement. This would involve him receiving independent legal advise at the employers expense.

If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time.

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