Urgent end year PMR advice

Please see the mid year markings leaflet setting out the appalling PMR inequalities which took place in DCLG at Mid Year – and the essential precautionary steps which PCS is calling for management to take in response.

PCS representatives continue to receive requests for PMR related advice from worried members, particularly but not only from disabled and ethnic minority members, a situation which is now depressingly predictable in DCLG.

Given the similarity of some of the questions representatives have been asked we repeat some previously issued advice below.

Role of Line Manager

Your direct reporting officer is responsible for deciding your box marking, remains accountable for that marking, and cannot derogate responsibility and accountability for that marking to the moderating meeting (confirmed by HR PMR policy lead to PCS on 15th June 2015). If your reporting officer states that s/he would have given you the higher marking but was in some way overruled or that the Moderating Meeting decided otherwise you should point out that the role of the moderating meeting is advisory and the mark rests with her or him (which does not mean that you cannot have grounds for complaint against a moderating meeting or particular participants).

Development Needed (DN) and the risk of dismissal

if you received a DN mark at 2015-16 MY and do not secure a Good Mark at 2015-16 End Year then you will be at risk of being placed on the misnamed “Performance Improvement Plan” (PIP):

  1. The PIP process is directly connected by DCLG guidance to the formal inefficiency dismissal  
  2. The PIP guidance states that PIPs should typically be for a minimum of one month and a maximum of three months, at the end of which line managers should, except in exceptional circumstances, commence formal disciplinary action for poor performance against Job Holders who are deemed not to have demonstrated the “required level of performance”.
  3. Members receiving a DN marking at End Year may therefore be just a matter of months away from being placed on formal poor performance dismissal procedures.
  4. The PIP guidance, and its explicit linking of DN to the Poor Performance Procedures, was issued without genuine consultation and without any equality impact assessment, despite the obvious risk that its stressful impact would fall disproportionately on disabled, older, ethnic minority and more junior grade staff (see mid year markings leaflet and previous PCS material).
  5. The equally misnamed “raising the bar” – which we believe has been misused to place staff in Development Needed – was also launched without consultation and again without any equality impact analysis into a PMR system that management knew was already failing on equality grounds. The repeated failure to equality impact assess proposals for the management of staff sits badly alongside an emphasis on unconscious bias training.
  6. Members receiving an End Year DN marking should seek PCS advice.

PCS DCLG National  Branch Executive Committee