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Hallett
Employment Law Services Ltd

Appraisals

Appraisals are an important part of the working relationship. They provide a structure for regular review and discussion about the employee’s work. In addition they provide the employee with the opportunity to feel that their views are valued, which is crucial to maintaining good working relations. It also allows the employer a way of communicating and discussing future developments with the employee, and identify training needs.

Appraisals can be used in spotting any persistent problems with an employee, such as under- performance, or weakness in a particular area of their work, and used to target the training needs of an employee.  Retaining internal appraisals can assist businesses in making decisions over promotion, and may be used in relation to decisions whether or not to award increases in pay, or bonuses.

In relation to any claims pursued in an Employment Tribunal, being able to refer to past appraisals can be helpful in supporting a defence against a former employee that has been dismissed due to their underperformance, where the appraisals demonstrate a history of under- performance, and steps taken by the employer to address the issue have failed to produce the necessary improvement.

In practice many employers fail to use the appraisal process properly. It is NOT the means or forum for dealing with disciplinary matters. Such concerns should be addressed under a disciplinary procedure (see PAYG document). It is also important that the appraisal is truly a two-way process, and the employee really does have an active role in the process. That way the business and employee can benefit from the appraisal.

Naturally the content and structure of an appraisal will vary as between different employees, particularly around the level of management responsibility held by each employee. So, an appraisal form for a junior employee (link to PAYG junior employee appraisal form) will not need to be as detailed, or cover as many areas as that of a senior employee. (link to PAYG senior employee appraisal form). Tailoring the appraisal process to the needs of the business and the role of the particular employee is crucial if the employer wishes to gain the greatest benefit from an appraisal process.

 

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