union for life

Performance management

Performance management

Prospect is seeing an increasingly aggressive approach to performance management in many areas, both in the public and private sectors. Employees are coming under attack with unfair criticisms, forced distribution markings, and efforts to cut staff numbers.

member and manager face to face

'Good' work

Prospect is committed to promoting good work for all our members. Negotiators and representatives are challenging unfair use of performance management. We:

  • seek to ensure, through collective bargaining, procedures are fair, equality proofed, and consistently applied, and
  • support individual members when things go wrong.

Performance management schemes

There are a number of problems that can arise with performance management schemes. Prospect believes that schemes should:

  • be assessed in the light of health and safety risks and the reasonableness of demands on employees and managers
  • not have a forced distribution of markings, but instead be designed to genuinely reflect the standards achieved
  • have an equality impact assessment to ensure that they are not adversely effecting different groups of workers (for example on the grounds of disability, race, gender, or part time status)
  • ensure all covered by the scheme know what is expected of them and are appropriately trained
  • recognise particular difficulties where there are ill health or disability issues and provide for adjustments to be made
  • be subject to consultation with the union and regularly reviewed.

Support for members

Prospect members will be supported with:

  • advice to help them challenge unfair assessmentsRepresentation at meetings under the performance or capability procedures
  • advice and support on requesting reasonable adjustments needed to overcome disadvantage due to ill health or disability
  • legal advice on pursuing claims to an Employment Tribunal.

Resources and guidance

Prospect has issued advice on dealing with various aspects of performance management. This includes:

We also have a separate page about appraisal.

Specific guidance for groups of members

We have produced specific advice and guidance for members in some of our largest employing areas: