Capability Procedure

Occasionally, an employee’s standards may slip at work.

This could be for a range of reasons, but if improvements can’t be made, you might have to consider whether they’re still right for the role.

An employee should also be able to try and improve their performance before a disciplinary action. If your employee feels mistreated because they’ve not been able to improve, you could face unfair dismissal claims and a hefty fine.

In this guide, we’ll explain what a capability procedure is, the best process to follow, and how to manage it at work.

What is a Capability Procedure?

A capability procedure relates to the process of improving an employee’s performance.

Capability relates to an employee’s skills, aptitude, health, or any other mental or physical quality that they are employed to do.

As an employer, you need to manage the process when it becomes a capability issue at work. The procedure should not be used to bully or harass an employee. This can create unnecessary pressure and their performance may slip further.

To ensure standards are maintained at work, you should refer to your capability policy. If you haven’t already, your business should look into creating one as this can provide examples of the capability process.

Consider taking disciplinary action if your employee continues to use excuses for their poor performance. These excuses can include:

  • If an employee is always late (conduct).
  • If an employee is absent without prior consent, known as unauthorised absence.
  • Offensive language at work.

Capability Vs Conduct

Capability relates to the willingness of the employee but may lack the skills to do the job. However, conduct shows unwillingness and a lack of motivation towards the job.

As an employer, you must decide what the best approach is. The choice may be either a capability procedure or disciplinary.

Hold a capability meeting and decide if the issue relates to capability or conduct.

If there is a conduct issue, an employee will have control over their actions. For example, an employee may refuse to cooperate in work or call in sick when they’re not ill.

With this type of issue, you should correct the disciplinary process. But if the issue is related to capability, an employee may have no control over it.

For example, an employee may be unable to perform their job due to adjustments or falling ill.

How to Manage a Capability Procedure

To manage capability at work, you should follow a process to help your employees improve.

Allowing your employee to improve their performance can give them a chance. This can also stop any further problems from occurring in the future.

To provide support for your employees, you should:

  • Advise what changes to make to improve an employee’s work.
  • Enhance their skills with different types of training.

What process should you follow?

To ensure performance improves and standards don’t slip, you should consider how the process can help your employees.

A capability process can provide you with steps to follow, such as:

  • Informal process: Identify areas of concern and address them.
  • Investigation: Speak to your employee and give them time to comment on any performance concerns.
  • Formal meeting: An employee should be told about their performance issues before the meeting.
  • Performance review: Set objectives and review the performance at a certain date.
  • Warnings: At this point, a warning may be given to allow your employees to improve and offer additional training.
  • Consider dismissal: If there are no signs of improving, you should consider dismissal.
  • Appeal: An employee has a right to appeal. This should be written within 5 working days of the warning or notice of dismissal.

Get Advice on Capability Procedures at Work with BrightHR

Dealing with poor performers can be difficult. But setting objectives can encourage your employees to improve their performance.

This can help you save on recruitment costs and manage any distractions to your workforce.

But despite your best efforts, this may not work. So, you need to ensure a fair process is in place to avoid unfair dismissal claims.

BrightHR can help you with laws on capability procedures. If you need any help in supporting your employees, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.

Book in a free demo today to see how easy it is. Give us a call on 0800 783 2806

Have a question?

Ask away, we’ve got lightning fast answers for UK business owners and employers powered by qualified experts.

    Share this article