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Protected Conversations

He says, she says 

Protected conversations are the controversial topic of a Government Consultation this year.

While we recognise that it is a good thing the Government have acknowledged a need for employers to be able to broach difficult performance matters; in reality are protected conversations the way to do this?

 On the surface this may seem a good idea, an ideal opportunity for employers to lay their cards on the table without fear of a tribunal case against them.

This could work for poorly performing employees who recognise the job is too big for them and are perhaps waiting for the inevitable; this could be a more human and less traumatic process.  The employer explains that even with compassionate and professional management they think improvement is unlikely opening the door for the employee to negotiate a no fault exit strategy. No long, painful performance management process, the employee and employer can move on without the bitter aftertaste!

However, would you agree to a no holds barred conversation with your employer without knowing in advance what they are going to say?

Protected conversations can only work as part of a fair and reasonable process and will offer no protection from unlawful or unprofessional comments.

Trust and honesty are crucial in your working relationship and if, as an employer you work to achieve this with your employees you will reap the benefits. 

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