Deal with performance issues in appropriate way

A RECENT employment tribunal case Mrs M Williams v Meddygfa Rhydbach Surgery & Others highlights the importance of robust performance management.

Mrs Williams won a constructive dismissal case against her former employer after being bullied during a poorly handled performance management process.

She had worked as a receptionist at the practice from 1986 before being promoted to practice manager in 1996 and at the time was said to be well thought of by the doctors, despite having had no formal training or qualifications.

However, the partners had become dissatisfied with Mrs William’s performance, the view being that she was not taking managerial responsibility to improve the efficiency of the practice.

A meeting was held in 2014 to discuss concerns about her performance and she was informed that she was not up to the task or meeting expectations. However, no extra training or support was offered.

One of the doctors, Dr Smits, was reported to be very blunt and shouted at her on occasions. During one meeting, it was alleged that Dr Smits raised his voice and banged his hand against a door in frustration.

Mrs Williams took sick leave and raised a bullying grievance against Dr Smits which was not upheld. Mrs Williams resigned two days later.

The tribunal heard that Mrs Williams had been constructively unfairly dismissed. Regardless of the fact whether there performance issues or not she had not been properly performance managed and had been bullied. The court reminded everyone that all employees have the right to work in an environment free from oppression.