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CAPABILITY POLICY

Prepared by:

Sally Baines

Responsible Area: Approval Information:

Human Resources/Organisational Development Date Approved: 2nd October 2006 COMMITTEE:Trust Board Approved By:

Sign

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Print Name

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Version No. Approved: Review Date:

Reference to Standards for Better Health Domain Core/Development standard Performance indicators

October 2007

Example : Department of Health 2004 Standards for Better Health First domain Safety Fourth domain Patient focused Seventh domain Public Health Department of Health 2004 Example: Core Standard C4 C13B C24 1. 2.

(Key measure(s) to demonstrate policy, protocol or guideline is working (minimum 1, maximum 3)

3.

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KIRKLEES PRIMARY CARE TRUST

CAPABILITY POLICY

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1.

Policy Statement The Kirklees Primary Care Trust (PCT) acknowledges and appreciates the efforts made by staff towards achieving and maintaining high standards of work and performance. In addition the PCT recognises the importance of management and staff working together to create and sustain a healthy workplace conducive to effective working. It is the policy of the PCT that any employee with identified capability problems will be dealt with in a fair, reasonable and consistent manner. It is the policy of the PCT that employees will be dealt with according to current employment legislation and employment best practice. Any instances of unsatisfactory work performance will be addressed to ensure the highest standards of patient care and service provision. The objective is to give maximum support to any employee whose capability causes concern to try to ensure a return to a satisfactory and safe level of performance. Where this is not possible the PCT will deal with such cases with sensitivity. Alternatives such as redeployment in other suitable employment consistent with the individuals abilities and skills will be considered prior to any decision being made to terminate the employees contract. This policy should be read in conjunction with the PCT procedure and management guidance on the handling of capability issues.

2.

Review of Policy This policy will be reviewed within 3 years following acceptance.

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KIRKLEES PRIMARY CARE TRUST

CAPABILITY PROCEDURE

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CAPABILITY PROCEDURE 1. Introduction The Kirklees Primary Care Trust (PCT) acknowledges and appreciates the efforts made by staff towards achieving and maintaining high standards of work performance. In addition, the PCT recognises the importance of management and staff working together to create and sustain a healthy workplace conducive to effective working.

2. Purpose of the Capability Procedure The purpose of the capability procedure is to assist the above process by:•

achieving consistency throughout the PCT in addressing issues of capability;

•

ensuring that problems are dealt with in accordance with fair and reasonable managerial and employment practice.

The procedure will detail steps (action) to be followed by managers in dealing with capability issues. However, capability issues are distinct from those of conduct which will continue to be addressed through the disciplinary procedure. The capability procedure will address unsatisfactory work performance. It is recognised that there are also many possible outcomes of the procedure. The objective is to give the maximum support to any employee whose capability causes concern to attempt to ensure a return to a satisfactory level of performance. a. Negligence v Genuine Incapability It is important to differentiate between NEGLIGENCE and GENUINE INCAPABILITY. Negligence involves the employee either being totally responsible for or deliberately contributing towards substandard performance eg calculated or malicious intent towards not meeting the required standard. This is distinct from genuine inability to meet expectations. As stated above, issues of negligence should be considered as misconduct and dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary procedure.

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3. Informal Stages a. Reducing Risk It is particularly important that managers arrange a comprehensive programme of induction for employees when they start work to help them settle into their jobs and place of work. The opportunity should be taken to discuss the job description and ensure mutual understanding and awareness of expectations/standards. This should be followed by the provision of necessary training, including mandatory induction, effective supervision and constructive encouragement. Managers and Supervisors should discuss (informally and formally) standards of performance being achieved to ensure a continuing awareness of how performance is being perceived. The PCT’s appraisal and personal development planning process should be utilised for these purposes. b. Support Mechanisms Effective management will identify coping difficulties at an early stage thus requiring the use of support mechanisms, examples as follows:Trainer/Refresher Training To be made available for staff whose performance could be enhanced by a period of training. The training in terms of type and duration should be agreed by the manager and employee and should address commonly understood and specified needs eg on or off job or a mix of both. On occasions refresher training eg attendance at suitable courses may be appropriate to improve the performance of generally competent and experienced staff who have not had exposure to current developments and new techniques. It must, however, be noted that the onus is on employees to maintain an updated awareness of new developments and acquisition of complementary skills eg nursing and PREP to maintain NMC registration. This is particularly relevant to ‘qualified’ staff of all professions/disciplines. c. Coaching/Mentorship Difficulties can, in appropriate circumstances, be tackled and resolved by arranging a defined period of coaching/mentorship with a skilled, respected and experienced role model. The purpose of this being to learn, gain and maintain good all round working practices through the employee sharing problems with the coach/mentor who will provide training, support and advice.

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d. Timescales In order to balance the needs of the employee with the service needs of the PCT a reasonable time should be allowed for the support mechanism to have the desired effect. This should not, however, exceed 3 months and close monitoring of progress and formal review at the end must be in evidence. All support mechanisms should be agreed between the manager and employee (and when necessary coach/mentor) and should be confirmed in writing including the final outcome. Support mechanisms should be linked to discussion with emphasis on issuing advice, guidance and support referred to under section 4.

4. Stages in Addressing Capability Problems a. 1st Stage Formal Meeting In line with the above and following earlier failed attempts to ‘nip problems in the bud’ a formal discussion with emphasis on offering support, advice and guidance should take place between the line manager and employee. The interview should cover:•

Management concerns regarding genuine inability to achieve a satisfactory standard of performance.

A need to achieve improvement combined with further offers of help, eg further training etc.

A period of performance monitoring with a definitive review date (maximum of 3 months allowed).

• •

The potential consequences of failing to achieve improvement; and The possibility of alternative employment or job redesign (if felt appropriate).

What is expected in that role of the employee.

What the employees deficits are in achieving the expectations of the role.

The salient points of the discussion should be detailed in writing to the employee and a copy retained on the personal file for a period of 6 months. Note: Although a formal measure, this discussion is not a form of disciplinary action, the purpose being to remedy difficulties at an early stage so avoiding the need to progress to formal meetings.

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b. Second Stage Formal Meeting If the formal discussion fails to have the desired effect then a second stage formal meeting should be convened focusing attention upon:•

Management’s increasing concerns regarding failure to achieve a satisfactory standard of performance.

A need to achieve improvement combined with further offers of help eg training etc.

A period of performance monitoring with definitive review date (maximum 3 months).

The potential consequences of failing to achieve improvement.

The possibility of alternative employment or job redesign (if felt appropriate). This may involve down grading. A short period of pay protection up to a maximum of 12 months may or may not be granted at the discretion of the manager.

If the employees performance is deemed satisfactory at the first stage final review, this procedure will be brought to a close but performance should continue to be maintained for a minimum of 6 months.

The results of this meeting should be confirmed in writing to the employee with a copy on the personal file and retained for 12 months. c. Third Stage Formal Meeting If, following the second stage review, performance does not improve then a third stage formal meeting should be convened focusing attention upon the same issues as the second formal meeting. •

Again, a maximum of 3 months should be allowed to achieve improvement.

There will be an assessment as to whether further training etc is required.

Again, the potential consequences of failing to achieve improvement should be made clear. At this stage the impending possibility of dismissal in the event of not achieving improvement should be stated.

The possibility of alternative employment or job redesign (if felt appropriate). This may involve down grading. A short period of pay protection up to a maximum of 12 months may or may not be granted at the discretion of the manager.

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If the employee’s performance is deemed satisfactory at the second stage final review, the formal procedure will be brought to a close. However the employees performance should continue to be monitored for a period to ensure that the employee continues to meet the requirements of the role. It is recommended that monitoring continues on a regular basis for a minimum of 6 months. The results of this meeting will be confirmed in writing and a copy kept on the employees personal file for a period of 2 years. d. Final Formal Meeting

If the employee has failed to achieve a satisfactory level of performance a final meeting will be convened. A decision to dismiss on the grounds of capability may need to be taken if a satisfactory level of improvement has not been made. Again at this stage as an alternative and subject to availability, suitable alternative employment on a down graded basis could be considered. This potential course of action should be discussed with the head of human resources before this final formal meeting is convened. The Manager may at their own discretion decide to extend the period of maintaining and have a further formal meeting if improvements in performance have been made that fall short of a satisfactory level.

5. Guidance for Arranging Formal Meetings •

The employee must be advised at least 5 working days in advance.

A short but concise description of the capability problem must be contained within the letter.

The letter must advise of the line manager conducting the meeting and the human resource manager assisting combined with the Manager presenting concerns.

A human resource manager must be present at all formal meetings.

The employee must be advised of the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or friend not acting in a legal capacity.

All decisions must be confirmed in writing to the employee with a copy retained on the personal file. a. Authority to Dismiss

The power of dismissal rests with the chief executive. Delegated authority may be given to any PCT director.

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Authority for other levels of disciplinary action The authority for taking disciplinary action is vested in managers and directors within the PCT. b. Appeals 5.2.1 In the event of dissatisfaction Employees dissatisfied with the action proposed at any stage, other than dismissal, will have the right to meet with the Manager next in line to the Manager involved in the formal stages. The employee will be able to invite a trade union representative or friend not acting in a legal capacity to the meeting. 5.2.2 Appeal Against Dismissal There is a right of appeal against dismissal to a panel comprising of: ƒ

One non executive director of the PCT, who will be chair of the panel, a director and a local trade union representative employed by the PCT. In circumstances where a local representative is not available a full-time trade union official may be approached to fulfil this obligation. The head of human resources or a nominated deputy will attend the appeal and act as secretary and professional HR advisor to the panel. The appeal must be lodged in writing on an appeal notification form to the head of human resources for the PCT within 3 weeks of receipt of letter confirming the decision. Appeals will normally be arranged within 4 working weeks subject to the availability of all parties.

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The decision of the panel will be binding. Separate arrangements will be made where the dismissal of a director is a subject of appeal. Although employees may wish to preserve any statutory right of complaint against unfair dismissal (ie to an employment tribunal) they are recommended first to exercise the right of appeal under this Procedure.

c. Representation All employees have the right to be accompanied by a friend or Trade Union representative at any formal stages of this Procedure.

6. Communicating Decisions Whilst accepting that the issue of warnings or cautions does not fit readily with aspects of managing capability, it is equally important that in communicating decisions/outcomes of formal meetings that the member of staff is fully aware of the potential consequences as outlined and/or the increasing vulnerability

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of employment if an improvement in performance is not made and sustained. Outcomes of meetings will always be confirmed in writing. 7. Achievement of Improved Performance Linked with Formal Meetings It is important that employees who at the review stage have demonstrated the desired improvement are thanked for their efforts and advised that the improvement must be sustained. However, to avoid relapses the record of formal action will remain on personal files for the undermentioned periods of time and will continue to be valid for future use. • • •

First stage Second Stage Third Stage

6 months 1 year 2 years

If performance remains satisfactory throughout the above timescales then the warning will be removed and so invalid for future use. 8. Professional Capability Issues Managers may wish to consider the use of an externally qualified and experienced professional to provide impartial assessment and advice on an individuals professional competence. This option can be available at any stage of the procedure and should only be used following discussion with the individual and their representative. 9. Responsibilities Responsibilities of the Line Manager/Director •

To ensure appropriate induction arrangements are undertaken for all staff.

To ensure appraisals and personal development planning is undertaken yearly as a minimum. It is expected that a baseline Personal Development Plan will be agreed at around 6 months after commencement.

To bring to the attention of the employee any deficits in meeting requirements of the role.

To ensure training and development is discussed with employees to enable them to meet the requirements of the role and any changes to the role requirements.

To inform and seek support from the HR Manager prior to any formal meeting.

To establish informal and formal meetings as outlined in the Procedure.

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To maintain full and accurate records of the meetings and any discussions with employees on capability issues.

To confirm the outcome of all formal meetings in writing to the employee.

Responsibility of the Employee It is each employees responsibility: •

To maintain an awareness of new developments and acquire the necessary skills for Continued Professional Development.

To discuss their job and training requirements required to undertake the full responsibilities of the role as requested including participation in induction and appraisal events.

To attend formal meetings as requested.

To undertake any action plan and training as outlined at the formal and informal meetings.

Responsibilities of the Human Resources Manager/Human Resources Representatives •

To provide advice and support to the manager and employee on the capability procedure.

To provide support during formal meetings to the manager and the employee providing suggestions and guidance on appropriate ways forward.

To provide support and assistance with the production of any letters, notes of the meetings etc as part of this procedure.

To ensure consistent application of the Procedure within the PCT.

To ensure managers are trained in the requirements of the Procedure as appropriate.

10. Review of Procedure This Procedure will be reviewed within 3 years following approval.

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APPENDIX

1

APPEAL AGAINST CAPABILITY Only complete and return this form if you wish to appeal against the decision This form should be completed and submitted within 3 weeks of the date of receipt of the letter confirming the sanction. NAME: JOB TITLE: DEPARTMENT: PCT: WORK TELEPHONE NUMBER: TRADE UNION/STAFF REPRESENTATIVE:

DATE OF HEARING: SANCTION ISSUED MANAGER AT HEARING

BASIS OF THE APPEAL Procedural irregularities Sanction too severe in circumstances Other Please give brief details of the basis for your appeal. All applicants must complete this section.

NAME (BLOCK CAPITALS) __________________________________________________ SIGNATURE ______________________________________DATE ___________________

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