HR Problems PageTuesday, October 4th, 2011
An ageing employee
We have an elderly employee who frankly is past his sell-by date. How can we get rid of him?
Forget age or you will find yourself contravening age discrimination legislation. Also do not rush to get rid. You have an employee who is failing to perform to standard, so what would be your ideal solution? Presumably to have an employee who indeed is performing to standard. Start from there. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your employee. Ask him to tell you how he feels about work, what he dislikes, what problems he may be encountering. A common belief among old people is that, because they are old, they must be incompetent – a self-fulfilling prophesy. This man presumably has skill and experience so there is a good chance that he needs a bit of help, even tolerance. See what you can do to help in a practical way, tell the man that he still has life in him, and you may well find that he finds his lost enthusiasm and returns to being a useful employee.
If, however, that does not work, then you must seek to redeploy him into something that he is more capable of doing and only if none of these efforts work may you give him a warning and subsequently move to dismiss him on grounds of incapability.
Explaining new legislation
Are we obliged to explain new legislation to employees who may be affected?
There is no obligation on you to do so. However it is in your interest to make your employees aware of any relevant new legislation so that they get an accurate explanation of how it will affect them in your particular workplace. Ideally talk to them rather than give them written notes so that they can ask questions. If you do not do this they may get information from other sources that is misleading and could cause them to develop expectations that have no valid basis.