If you have reason to believe your employer is using performance management as a mechanism to unfairly or constructively dismiss you, you should seek legal advice from a specialist in employment law. Such situations are, unfortunately, not uncommon, and should be handled robustly, to protect your interests and those of others who may be treated in the same unfair manner.
What is meant by ‘performance management’?
Performance management may have both positive or negative connotations depending on the intention behind its use. From a positive perspective, businesses and organisations may use performance management to encourage employees to ‘raise the bar’ – perhaps by improving the efficiency, processes, speed, knowledge, and quality of the work they do.
From a less positive standpoint, managers may use a strategy of placing enormous indirect pressure on individual employees with a view to forcing them to make the decision to leave. By managing performance in a way that is deliberately intended to make an employee feel undervalued and ineffective in their role, some employers believe that workers can be ‘managed out’, but they themselves will remain within the law. But by doing so, the employer may be in breach of employment law having carried out an act of constructive dismissal.
Can I bring a claim for constructive dismissal in Ireland?
Constructive dismissal is deemed to have occurred if an employee leaves their job due to the negative conduct of their employer. Under law, for constructive dismissal to apply, you must have had sufficient reason to terminate your contract of employment. In other words, if you were under reasonable pressure by your employer to meet performance requirements, and you left as a result, this may not be grounds for constructive dismissal.
Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2015, if you do decide to bring a claim for damages due to unfair dismissal, citing unfair performance management, then you must prove your resignation was warranted. This is where Lavelle Partners employment law Solicitors can assist you. To bring a claim for unfair dismissal, you generally (but not always) need to have had at least 12 months of continuous with the employer, and your claim should be brought within 6 months of termination.
It is recommended that prior to terminating your employment, you should endeavour to use any grievance procedures or industrial relations procedures at your disposal. In many cases, taking such action can resolve the matter amicably. And before you do resign, seek the advice of an employment law Solicitor specialising in constructive dismissal to verify your rights and ensure you are doing the right thing.
How Lavelle Partners can assist you in relation to performance management matters.
- For over 30 years, our team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, have been supporting and assisting employees who have been unfairly treated during performance management and/or constructively dismissed. Over that time, we have developed an enviable reputation for providing legal excellence and empathetic support for our valued clients.
- Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and the European Employment Lawyers Association.
- We understand the emotional impact of uncertainty in relation to unfair performance management and constructive dismissal and will handle your case with the utmost empathy and determination to defend your rights.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our employment law Solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with the greatest of empathy. Furthermore, we understand that discrimination matters need to be managed with the utmost confidentiality.
Our partnership with Talbot Pierce.
Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.
For further information on workplace performance management in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800*.
*Please note that fees apply to all consultations.