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Overview of the Poor performance outcome letter - warning or no action

This document is GDPR compliant.

Managing poor performance is simple if you follow proper procedure. Use this poor performance outcome letter to confirm that an employee has been given a warning (first or final) as a result of poor performance or that no further action will be taken. Inform an employee of the outcome of a poor performance evaluation with this letter.

Use this letter

  • when you want to confirm that an employee has been given a warning or final written warning as a result of a poor performance hearing
  • when you want to confirm that no further action will be taken as a result of a poor performance hearing
  • only for employees based in England, Wales or Scotland

This letter covers

  • the outcome of the hearing
  • whether any warning given is a first or final warning
  • the reason for the warning
  • the performance improvement required and the timescale to achieve it
  • the consequences of not achieving the improvement
  • any additional measures taken in connection with the warning
  • the employee's right to appeal the decision

Every employer who has held a disciplinary hearing on grounds of an employee's poor performance should provide the employee with a disciplinary outcome letter for poor performance. This letter essentially sets out any decisions made during a disciplinary meeting and outlines the reasoning. It will either clarify that no further disciplinary action will be taken (eg. if it is decided that there was a valid reason for the poor performance) - or else it will confirm a first or final warning. If a warning is given, the letter should state what the employee is expected to do in order to remedy their poor performance, along with a timescale for improvement.

Employers must communicate any decisions arising from a disciplinary meeting to the employee in writing (in accordance with s. 17 of the Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance). Failure to do so can result in an uplift of 25% in any compensation awarded by an employment tribunal (eg. if the employee successfully brings a case for unfair dismissal).

Aside from the requirement under the Acas Code, ensuring that disciplinary decisions are properly documented reduces the risk of confusion or disputes further down the line.

Warnings issued for poor performance should specify how long they are in effect; if an employee fails to heed the initial warning while it is still in effect, this can lead to a final warning. An initial warning period normally lasts 6 or 12 months but there are no specific rules governing warning periods - but they should be reasonable (ie. they should not last indefinitely).

Yes - employees always have a right to appeal disciplinary decisions made on the grounds of poor performance. Employers must communicate this right of appeal in the disciplinary outcome letter, as this is required under the Acas Code of Practice.

Ask a lawyer for:

  • issuing a final warning where no previous warning has been given
  • giving warnings without first holding a hearing

Other names for Poor performance outcome letter - warning or no action

Warning letter to employee for poor performance.