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Good morning, I have been employed with a company as a sales…

Good morning, I have been...
Good morning, I have been employed with a company as a sales representative for almost 3 years. The first 2 years I was left to my own devises. No sales targets were given nor any detail of the companies expectation of me. for the first 2 years My sales figures were good. Since August 2013 my sales figures have declined by losing business. I have since gained new business which has put me back to where I started. I was set a sales target in October which I haven't met. I have had a chat with the sales director recently and he told me I need to improve as it can't carry on. I now feel the company will look to dismiss me if I fail to improve. They did dismiss another employee under a compromise agreement last year. Please help
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
6/17/2014
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,138
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
Verified

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me if you have signed a new agreement for your sales target please

Customer: Hi Ben, I can't see your answer
Ben Jones :

Hi I did ask you a question don't know if you received it but can you tell me if you have signed a agreement for your sales target I need to get that information before I can proceed with advice for you

Customer: No I didn't sign anything
Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer: Ok thanks
Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. An employee's poor performance is a potentiality fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996, as it would amount to lack of capability. This should be assessed by reference to an employee's "skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality" and must relate to the work that they were employed to do.


 


In order for a dismissal for poor performance to be fair, an employee must be warned that they need to improve, be given reasonable targets for improvement within a realistic timescale and be offered appropriate training and/or support during the monitoring period.


 


Generally, the reasonableness of such dismissals would be measured against the following criteria:



  • Did the employer have reasonable belief in the employee's incompetence;

  • Was the situation investigated and was the employee given the opportunity to voice their side of the story;

  • Was the employee aware of what was required of them in terms of satisfactory performance;

  • Were steps taken to minimise the risk of poor performance through training, supervision, etc;

  • Was a proper appraisal conducted and was the problem identified in a timely manner;

  • Was the employee told of the consequences of failing to improve and were they actually given the chance to improve their performance;

  • Did the employer consider offering alternative employment.


 


The above are just examples and what a tribunal would generally look for when deciding the reasonableness of a dismissal. If there is a genuine belief or evidence that the employer has acted in a rather heavy-handed manner and not satisfied at least some of the above requirements, the dismissal could be challenged.


 


The first step is to appeal directly to the employer within the allocated time for an internal appeal. After that the only viable option is to consider a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal, subject to having at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a strict time limit of 3 months from the date of dismissal to issue such a claim.


 


As to dismissing you under a settlement agreement, that can only happen if you both agree to it so you cannot be forced into it, however the employer could suggest it. If you can see that they want you out regardless, then you may wish to consider negotiating a reasonable settlement with them, rather than having to go through the dismissal procedure and then spend more time and money pursuing them for unfair dismissal through the tribunal.


 


Hope this clarifies your position?

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer: Hi Ben,
Customer: you mentioned the signing an agreed target, which I didn't, should I have done? Just to give further information, I have had a total of 4 meetings with my sales director 3 of which have been since October 2013.. 1 meeting in February 2012, the more recent 3 were to tell me they require more sales... Surely they have failed to keep me informed by what they want from me... It's like they have just landed these expectations on me.
Ben Jones :

Hi, no it is not a legal requirement to have signed for the targets, I was just asking to know what, if anything, is in place. However, the targets need to have been identified before they were applied and you were scored on them. So some communication in relation to the targets you were working towards would have been required

Customer: Thank you for now
Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,138
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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