The HR Forum

Hi all,

My manager and I are currently reviewing our disciplinary policy. Our policy contains the usual including poor performance at work. In terms of poor performance, referred to as capability, we are having discussions around perhaps having a separate policy altogether.The capability process is treated in the same way as misconduct which is already mentioned in our disciplinary policy.Can anyone give me their thoughts on whether they think a separate policy is needed for capability, or if the inclusion in our disciplinary policy is sufficient enough.



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  • Hi Emmanuel

    We deal with performance separately from our disciplinary policy and have a policy on Managing Performance.


  • Hi Emmanual

    It is not uncommon for smaller SMEs to not have a capabaility policy but just a disciplinary policy.  I found as I worked in larger organisations they would typically have both.  I have never been that comfortable treating a long term ill health case as a misconudct issue so I have always ensured my clients have both policies.

    I found this useful summary on the web from XPertHR, I hope this helps!

    Whether an employer should deal with an employee's poor performance through its disciplinary or capability procedure will depend on the nature of the poor performance. The employer will need to carry out an investigation, which will include meeting with the employee concerned, to establish whether the employee's poor performance is conduct or capability related. If it is conduct related (ie the employee has some control over his or her actions), it is appropriate for the employer to follow its disciplinary procedure. However, if the employee's poor performance is capability related (ie he or she does not have control over his or her failure to meet the employer's standards of performance), it will be appropriate for the employer to follow a capability procedure for performance management.

    It is not always obvious whether an employee's poor performance is due to capability or conduct. In some cases it will be a combination of the two. The employer may need to adopt the procedure that appears to it to be the most appropriate, and change course if the evidence that emerges suggests that this is necessary. Irrespective of which procedure the employer follows, it should comply with the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures

    All the best


  • Hi Emmanuel

    In my old organisation we had separate policies - one for 'capability & under performance' and one for 'disciplinary'. I will be looking to implement this in my current organisation too whereby at present, we only have a disciplinary policy too.



    • Hi Adele,

      Thanks for your feedback. I think we will be pressing on with creating a separate policy for 'capability'.



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