New advice on civil service performance management

Performance management in the civil service – Prospect advice

Prospect members in the civil service are facing a new performance management process, with line managers under pressure to deliver a forced distribution of performance markings.

The union fears that if the process is not closely monitored and challenged, it may be used to force managed exits and drive down pay. To this end Prospect has set up a new web area on performance management in the civil service and issued detailed new advice visible to members for:

  • affected staff on how to deal with performance management and what to do if you think a rating is unjustified
  • line managers on how to ensure fairness in the performance management process, and how to address pressure from above to impose forced distribution.

Prospect deputy general secretary Leslie Manasseh said: “We are concerned because in most cases the new systems have been introduced into the civil service without meaningful consultation.

“We support performance management systems that are focused on improving performance in a positive way and focus on the development of staff.

“But previous experience suggests that appraisal systems introduced under the guise of performance management are vulnerable to abuse and may be used negatively to impose penalties. Our recent survey of members also showed lack of clarity about the procedure and how to receive a fair assessment of their performance.”

The new Prospect advice is the first of a range of resources that the union will produce to support members in the coming period.

Manasseh added: “If you are not a member of Prospect yet, please join us today. That way you will have access to the best advice possible on how to deal with the tough times ahead.”