The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court just quashed the grievance settlement board’s decision that a probationary employee’s termination was arbitrary and discriminatory and granted the application for judicial review. The evidence was clear that the employer’s decision to terminate the probationary employee was neither arbitrary nor discriminatory. In fact, the decision to terminate came after numerous reviews of the employee’s work and conversations about performance concerns.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the court calling into question the termination without notice of a probationary employee, how the law around references is changing and how a mistake in a contract led to constructive dismissal.
It is annual performance review time for many organizations! The actual performance review may be a simple rating sheet, a multi-page document, a massive competency check-lists or an online 360 review. Whatever the format of your reviews, it is your entire performance appraisal process, which includes the manager & employee performance appraisal meetings that determines the effectiveness of your appraisal system for your organizational development goals. Scott Adams has dedicated a multitude of Dibert strips mocking performance reviews (scroll to end of article) but for organizations today, performance management still matters.
When an employer seeks to rely on a breach of policy in disciplining an employee, the employer must prove that it clearly communicated the policy to the employee in question and has enforced the policy consistently. The importance of such communication in enforcement of workplace policies was demonstrated in Lambe v. Irving Oil Ltd.
In order to be in a position to dismiss an employee for cause, it is critical that the employer have appropriate documentation. However, many managers and supervisors unwittingly place their employers in a weakened legal position by failing to use performance and salary reviews properly.
It’s the beginning of the year and employers are gearing up for annual employee performance reviews. Although employment standards legislation is silent on the topic, there are some principles that have come out of the common law that are important for employers to know.