Documents for Business

In excess of 1,000 customisable documents covering every conceivable business issue.

Introduction to this document

Informal meeting request

Our letter will assist you in arranging an informal meeting with an employee to discuss your concerns with their performance or conduct. Use it where the issues are minor so that an informal approach is the best way to start.

Acas Code and guidance

In cases of minor poor performance or misconduct, before you launch into the formal capability or disciplinary procedure, you should aim to resolve the problem informally by having a meeting with your employee. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures provides that many potential disciplinary issues can be resolved in this way. In addition, the accompanying Acas Guidance states that cases of minor unsatisfactory performance or misconduct are usually best dealt with informally and that a quiet word is often all that is required to improve an employee’s performance or conduct. It also says that in some cases additional training, coaching and advice may be what is needed to help the employee improve.

Informal process

Start this process by using our Informal Meeting Request. It advises the employee that you have concerns and sets out what they are and then arranges an informal meeting to discuss them - this needs to be a two-way process so the letter emphasises that you will also listen to any comments or suggestions the employee may have about how to improve or what may be causing the problems. Finally, the letter notifies your employee that the meeting is an informal process and, as such, does not form part of your formal disciplinary or capability procedure. That said, it goes on to warn the employee that a failure to sufficiently improve following the meeting could lead to formal action being instituted. There is no statutory right to be accompanied at this meeting as it is an informal one and it will not result in the administration of a formal warning or the taking of some other action, e.g. dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions, against the employee. To deal informally with a minor performance or conduct issue, the Acas Guidance recommends you talk to your employee, to discuss the shortcomings in their performance or behaviour and to encourage improvement. Any criticism needs to be constructive and your emphasis should be on finding ways for the employee to attain sustained improvement. The employee needs to understand what the problem is, what needs to be done to move forward and how their conduct or performance will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Following the meeting, you can then use our Letter Following Informal Discussion of Minor Poor Performance or the same one for misconduct, depending on which is applicable.

formal action

There will be cases where matters are more serious or where an informal approach to poor performance or unsatisfactory conduct has already been tried but has not worked.  In these cases, you should consider taking formal capability or disciplinary action against the employee under the terms of your capability/disciplinary procedure.