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Guide to a performance improvement plan (PIP) dismissal timeline

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If you wish to dismiss an employee due to concerns with poor performance, use this timeline to help you understand the steps.

This guide will assist you in navigating from a scenario in which you have not yet voiced concerns about an employee's performance to one in which you are in a position to terminate for poor performance.

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How long to understand this guide?
10 mins
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guide to a performance improvement plan (pip) dismissal timeline

What is a Guide to a performance improvement plan (PIP) dismissal timeline?

A Guide to a Performance Improvement Dismissal Timeline is a document that outlines the steps that an employer should take to dismiss an employee for poor performance. The guide typically includes a timeline of actions that the employer should take, such as setting performance goals, providing feedback and coaching, and conducting performance reviews. The purpose of the guide is to ensure that the employer follows a fair and consistent process when dismissing an employee for poor performance, and to minimize the risk of legal action or disputes.

The guide may also include information on the legal requirements for performance improvement dismissals, such as the need to provide written warnings, opportunities for the employee to improve their performance, and the right to appeal the decision.

Overall, a Guide to a Performance Improvement Dismissal Timeline can be a useful tool for employers to manage poor performance in a fair and consistent manner, while also protecting themselves from legal risks.

Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this guide be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

Guide to a performance improvement plan (PIP) dismissal timeline

The schedule was developed with the assumption that there are no medical or other concerns influencing performance, that complete assistance and training have been provided, that the desired performance is fair, and that particular instances of poor performance are provided.

Timescales are approximate and subject to change for a variety of reasons.

It may be feasible to adhere to this timetable more rapidly depending on the type and severity of the performance problems; the individual's reply; and/or if they do not appeal official warnings issued.

Date Step Comment
0 Initial meeting to raise concerns

Review performance overall, strengths and weaknesses, and make sure specific details and examples are given of areas of concern.

Ask whether there is training/support that is required to achieve required level of performance and ask whether there is anything else you need to know which might be affecting his/her performance.

Agree specifics about what improvements need to be seen and agree a review date.

0 + 1 month Review meeting

Review objectives agreed at the last meeting. If they have been achieved, revise them and set them to be reviewed again. If they haven't been achieved, warn that failure to achieve required improvement might result in disciplinary/capability procedure. Repeat discussion about training/support/other issues affecting performance.

0 + 2 months Review meeting

Assuming the objectives haven't been achieved, you can consider using the disciplinary/capability procedure now.

0 + 2 months Invite to disciplinary hearing

Letter setting out concerns and inviting to hearing, follow procedure carefully, resulting in first level warning. Set objectives for improvement.

0 + 2 months + 10 days Appeal hearing

Follow disciplinary procedure carefully.

0 + 3 months Review meeting

Further meeting reviewing performance, and assuming improvement not happening, warning of possibility of further disciplinary action.

0 + 3 months + 10 days Second disciplinary hearing

Follow disciplinary/capability procedure again, resulting in second level warning.

0 + 4 months Appeal hearing

Follow procedure carefully.

0 + 4 months and 10 days Review meeting

Further meeting reviewing performance, and assuming improvement not happening, warning of possibility of further disciplinary action.

0 + 5 months Third disciplinary

Follow disciplinary/capability procedure again, resulting in third level warning, usually final written warning.

0 + 5 months + 10 days Appeal hearing

Follow procedure carefully.

0 + 6 months Review meeting

Further meeting reviewing performance, and assuming improvement not happening, warning of possibility of further disciplinary action.

0 + 6 months + 10 days Fourth disciplinary

Follow disciplinary/capability procedure again, resulting in dismissal.

0 + 7 months Appeal hearing

Follow procedure carefully.

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