Terminating an Employee for Poor Work Performance
In order to terminate an employee for poor work performance, an employer must take specific precautionary measures. If such measures are not taken, an employer may find itself either stuck with an incompetent employee, or on the losing end of a lawsuit for unfair termination.
If an employer cannot provide proper justification and evidence for termination, a labor court will award an employee compensation for unfair dismissal. Long- term, highly paid managers can receive significant awards for damages. To protect themselves, employers generally have to give employees ample opportunity to correct their behavior before dismissal. Steps an employer should take in this process are: communication of expectations, training, performance evaluations, identification of unsatisfactory performance, performance improvement plan, post- PIP evaluation, and termination of employment.
Employers should meticulously document the entire termination process. This means that all communications, reports, evaluations and PIPS should be in writing, dated and saved. These documents will serve as valuable evidence if the employee files an unfair dismissal claim. Indeed, from the court’s perspective, the most reliable evidence to show fair dismissal is an unbroken chain of documents showing each step of the process.