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Stage 3 poor performance hearing

Most performance issues can be identified and managed informally but occasionally, an employee’s performance problems may require a more structured approach.

A stage 3 hearing will take place if an employee is unable to reach or sustain the required standard of performance, despite a performance review period and being offered the appropriate support.

Managers preparing for a stage 3 performance hearing will need to provide evidence of all documentation used during the performance process, from the initial discussions held during the informal stages, to stage 1 and 2.

Preparing the management case report

Managers will need to demonstrate:

  • the performance concerns raised
  • what SMART objectives were discussed and agreed in the performance improvement plan
  • what support was put in place for the employee to achieve these objectives

Managers will need to detail:

  • if any alternative actions had been explored (i.e. redeployment to an alternative post)
  • the continued reasons for the employee not achieving the performance standard
  • any reasonable adjustments that were considered or made due to a disability that was impacting on the employee’s ability to perform in the role, including an Occupational Health referral and how advice provided during this process was acted on

It is useful for managers to create a chronological timeline of events to help structure the report. This could include:

  • Dates of meetings held during the process
  • Objectives set at stage 1
  • When the objectives started and finished
  • Which objectives were met
  • Which objectives were not met and led to stage 2
  • If stage 1 or 2 were extended due to training courses
  • If redeployment to an alternative post or downbanding was explored
  • The redeployment period
  • If alternative posts were considered
  • If alternative posts were trialled what was the duration and why was the trial period unsuccessful

Documents to enclose

Managers should include the following documents in the management case report as appendices:

  • Job description
  • Initial informal discussion summary letter
  • Stage 1 documentation:
    • Performance improvement plan
    • Performance review meeting discussions
    • Training documentation
  • Redeployment/downbanding information:
    • Job descriptions for role(s) trialled
    • Review meeting discussions
  • Stage 2 documentation:
    • Revised performance improvement plan
    • Performance review meeting discussions
    • Training documentation
  • Occupation Health reports with details of any reasonable adjustments put in place
  • Final outcome letter referring the case to a stage 3 hearing
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