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Go, or be pushed?

(37 Posts)
Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 13:22:51

Thought I'd come here before speaking to ACAS!

I'm basically underperforming at work - a combination of things have contributed to this, mostly out of my control, but ive lost the will to fight it further.

Work tried to put me on a PIP, just before I had a nervous breakdown earlier in the year.

When I returned, they held off, as I was mentally a bit fragile.

Anyway, as the process is linked to appraisal scores and so process-lead to a certain extent, the plan is looming again.

I'm not strong enough to go through it and honestly don't feel I'd meet expectations. My heart is not in my work anymore and I have gotten to a point where I must put my health and my family first.

I've asked for the PIP to be re-written, as the original 12 week plan deadlines passed ages ago, and I wanted to buy myself some more time to be honest, but am I best off handing in my notice before this is officially put in place?

My notice period is 3 months, if that's relevant.

Any advice gratefully received - I'm so sad...

MissConductUS Mon 20-Nov-17 13:33:42

If you haven't already, start looking for another job. It's always better to leave than be pushed. If you can't find another while you're still there, can you leave and have enough to live on for a bit while you seek a new position?

HundredMilesAnHour Mon 20-Nov-17 13:37:53

Have you spoken to your employer and had a frank discussion with them? Is that an option? If you're underperforming and you don't think that will/can change, is there another role with your employer that you can move to, even if it means demotion, that would better suit you? Try to explore all options before making a final decision.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 13:55:44

Hi both, I've been looking since before the first mention of a PIP, but what I do is fairly niche and nothing's happened yet (I've lost out on 3 jobs at final interview stage)

I can afford to get by for a few months if I leave, although I know it's not ideal.

I've explored moving to another team and possible demotion, but there's nothing suitable, so the options look limited now.

So am I better off handing in my notice? Do you think negotiating severance could be an option?

Fosterdog123 Mon 20-Nov-17 14:04:37

If I was your boss and you were underperforming and I had you on a pip, I wouldn't discuss severance, as I'd not want to spend money when I could legitimately take you through a process and dismiss you. So raising a severance may be a non-starter.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 14:09:49

Ok, I understand that. So if I haven't signed the new PIP, and hand in my notice before I do so, do you think they'd want me to work my 3 months notice, when they view me as a bit shit?

I know how hypothetical this is but I can't see the woods for the trees at the moment...

ToEarlyForDecorations Mon 20-Nov-17 14:16:29

It might be cleaner all round for you to resign.

You can then give your reasons for resigning to your prospective new boss when the time comes.

If you request that they do as you have asked wrt your PIP and you get given your notice that might be harder to explain in future.

I just hope they don't reinstate the PIP when you resign because they feel like being bastards. Why would they do that, what would that achieve you might ask. Some managers WILL have their procedures.

(I once worked in an organisation that employed a temp worker who had taken the piss with time off and coming and going when she felt like it. Even though her contract was coming to an end they still got rid of her two days before she was due to go just so they could look like they were actually managing her.)

MissConductUS Mon 20-Nov-17 14:18:21

In their shoes I might offer a modest severance if it avoided a long, drawn out process of getting shut of you, but if you hand in notice, you're going voluntarily. Severance is normally done if you're let go for lack of work or they don't have enough to dismiss you and want you to resign.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 14:37:30

So if I resign (and I'm seriously considering this next week, when my boss is back from holiday) will I still have to sign my PIP and begin the process? Or are they likely to shelve it? Again, I know this is just guesswork and I need to speak to ACAS, but I'm wondering whether to brazen out the 3 months if the PIP is abandoned, not that I'm filled with joy at the prospect of another 12 weeks here...

MissConductUS Mon 20-Nov-17 15:43:09

I think that if you resign improving your performance will be a moot issue, but they'd expect you leave very soon, not three months hence.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 15:51:46

Thanks MissConductUS. If that were the case, contractually, would they still have to pay me my 3 months notice?

BritInUS1 Mon 20-Nov-17 15:59:41

What does your contract say about notice period either side?

How long have you been there?

MissConductUS Mon 20-Nov-17 16:00:41

That I don't know, as I'm a Yank and we do things differently here. You probably have more rights than we do, here you'd get paid whatever you've worked to date but nothing more.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 16:11:52

Aah. I see. My contract is 3 months notice on each side.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 16:12:13

Been here 3.5 years

daisychain01 Mon 20-Nov-17 18:52:07

If I were you, I'd have a frank discussion with your employers. Say you want to leave on amicable terms, you would appreciate a neutral reference and could they say if they would be willing to give you Support during your notice period to enable you to seek new employment (attend interviews, write up your CV etc).

If you are planning to resign anyway, what you have in front of you is 3 months' cushion in the form of notice, where you can work hard at getting a new job. The key thing is to try and leave on the most advantageous terms possible.

As correctly stated upthread, they have no incentive towards a severance, however they may be prepared to concede in ways that don't cost them any money, such as a reference you can give to a future employer that does not mention being on a PIP etc. iow- they may be willing to sweep it all under the carpet, to expedite the situation (part company quickly and cleanly) and at least that bad episode can wiped clean from your Employment history.

Starrystar Mon 20-Nov-17 19:22:56

Thank you all for the advice xx

ToEarlyForDecorations Mon 20-Nov-17 22:56:25

Speak to ACAS first. Your boss or HR department could ask you outright 'have you resigned to try and sidestep the PIP ?' Maybe they won't but sometimes they want to make an employee squirm, even if they are leaving.

ACAS might be able to advise you how to negotiate how to get your last 3 months pay without being there i.e. resign on sick leave.

I've seen people do this. Have a row with the boss - go on sick leave for a month.

Starrystar Tue 21-Nov-17 19:21:08

I used up my company sick pay when I had a breakdown earlier in the year, so going off sick isn't an option for me.

On the back of the good advice I got yesterday, I have another hypothetical question: I have argued that the original PIP no longer stands, as processes and timelines weren't followed due to my illness. If it's to be reinstated, there are several elements that I've asked to be made specific and measurable (ie. one clause states that I need to give my manager confidence in me - it doesn't state how). I've had this fired back at me and have been told to re-write what I'm not happy with.

If I hand in my notice, do you think I should still re-write the plan?

daisychain01 Tue 21-Nov-17 20:55:39

I'm not strong enough to go through it and honestly don't feel I'd meet expectations. My heart is not in my work anymore and I have gotten to a point where I must put my health and my family first

Your PIP is only worth investing time, effort and negotiation if you are seriously considering staying and trying to rehabilitate yourself in the eyes of your manager.

It sounds like you need to make the decision whether you will stay or resign, because the PIP is superfluous to requirements and it's pointless overanalysing the situation and how they've applied the PIP. Unless, that is, you decide to take out a grievance against them because you believe the PIP was not justified, however that does not sound like it's the case based on your OP.

Sorry to say but you need to be decisive, not waver, and then follow through with your decision, scary though it may be.

Traffig Tue 21-Nov-17 21:14:30

OP, sorry about your situation. I agree with Daisychain above.
Also, if you resign, you may not be able to claim benefits for quite a substantial period of time. Something you need to verify before you make a decision.

Starrystar Wed 22-Nov-17 10:37:26

Thank you - I feel like this is the only outlet I've got, where I'm listened to at the moment.

I'm adamant about handing my notice in, and I'll let them know that I'm willing to work my notice (team workload is so heavy and disorganised that I'd assume they'll want me to stay and cover the work, even though I'm not up to scratch). I also need the notice money.

If I am to actually work out my 3 months, would that have to be under the PIP?

I'd ask these questions of HR, but I don't feel they're as impartial as they should be.

MissConductUS Wed 22-Nov-17 11:46:38

I think that they can probably keep the PIP in place if they want to. Otherwise they'd have no option to sack you if they needed/wanted to. They may also be willing to shelve it if they think you're really putting in your best efforts while you're there.

daisychain01 Wed 22-Nov-17 13:20:48

You need to check with HR, because the decision is theirs.

The reality is if you resign and are working your notice period the PIP will no longer serve any useful purpose. Bluntly, they may not bother making further effort to monitor your performance or improve what the PIP includes if you're leaving in 3 months. Your resignation (if that's what you decide) changes the whole situation.

The key thing is - is your PIP still at the informal stage? If so, it should not be formally lodged on your HR record. If the informal stage failed then you would have attended a meeting with HR and your manager, and they would have to give the grounds for why the informal stage failed. Then they move you to first formal capability warning which is placed on your record.

If so, as I've suggested upthread you could enter a negotiate with your employer.

- You could say you were not able to do justice to performance monitoring and their process and timings were difficult during your illness.

- you could then suggest you have decided to leave voluntarily to pursue your career elsewhere, ie hand in your resignation and in exchange, you ask them not mention the PIP on a future employment reference

It's all about negotiating a "win-win" - you leave without a fuss, they give a bland reference.

Starrystar Wed 22-Nov-17 15:19:26

My PIP got to the formal stage where I allegedly signed what they'd prepared. I honestly can't remember if I did or not - I was in that much of a state, and although Ivebeen provided with a soft copy, I haven't seen the hard copy.

That aside, as I said, the original timelines of the end of the process are well and truly over, so I'm assuming it would need to be a new agreement that I'd have to sign. They don't seem to be very pleased with my bringing this to their attention!

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