How to Dispute Unfair 2017 Mid-year Ratings

08 Nov 2017

Ratings must be based on a balanced consideration of your performance

Was your mid-year rating fair?

DWP People Performance Procedure expects that ratings will always be arrived at based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period and decisions must be transparent, fair and reasonable. Anyone dissatisfied with the fairness of their mid-year rating should dispute it without delay. It is best practice to try to resolve disputes informally and only resort to formal action as a last resort. However, you can raise a formal grievance and appeal under People Performance Procedure13 but you must put your case for Management Investigation on form G1 within 30 working days of the original decision (Grievance Procedure 5.7). You may contact your local PCS Representative for advice, support and representation.

DWP rating process

The rating process for 2017/18 is summarised under New People Performance Procedure 4.2:

4.2 The manager and employee should consider where an employee’s performance falls in relation to these ratings, taking into account the descriptors and the employee’s performance throughout the year against known performance expectations. The appropriate rating will always be based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period. Most employees will fall under ‘Good’ or ‘Exceptional’. A team may have no one with a Developing rating at the end of the year. The Good rating encompasses the widest span of performance: at this level performance could be verging on needing development or generally satisfactory.

Poor rating strictly limited

The ‘Poor’ rating is strictly limited under new Procedure 4.3 to those undergoing formal poor performance procedures at 30 September for Mid-year purposes or the end of the year at 31 March. Those who are in the post improvement period will not be included in this category.

A team may have no Developing ratings

A team may have no one with a Developing rating at the end of the year. As the appropriate rating will always be based on a balanced consideration of…personal performance over the entire period this also means a team may have no one with a Developing rating at mid-year.

Good rating covers widest span

The Good rating encompasses the widest span of performance: at this level performance could be verging on needing development or generally satisfactory.

Exceptional criteria

This rating covers Exceeded outcomes, exceeded competency and behaviour standards. No essential development necessary for employee to meet required standards for the role

Ratings must be transparent, fair and reasonable

The terms of People Performance Procedure 4.2, and Procedures 4.4 – 4.6 are intended to support appropriate use of the new ratings:

  • Ratings will always be arrived at based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period and decisions must be transparent, fair and reasonable.(Procedure 4.4)
  • When reviewing performance over a period it is important to remember that minor one-off “blips” are ok and no one should be given a “developing” rating based on a low-impact one-off event. (Procedure 4.5)
  • The Developing rating includes employees whose performance has needed essential development over part or all of the year to address under performance – either on outcomes (the ‘What’), competencies and related behaviours (the ‘How’) or both. Development plans will focus on the areas requiring essential development to a satisfactory standard. The Developing rating is not appropriate simply because the employee is new to the job role, under Probation, an apprentice or on a professional accreditation programme. (Procedure 4.6)

New People Performance Process

The New People Performance process for 2017-18 is built on the abolition of ‘Guided Distribution’, ‘Validation’ and the ‘Must Improve’ rating and introduces:

  • a rating process with four ratings – Exceptional, Good, Developing and Poor
  • light touch sense checking instead of consistency checking and validation

This is the first time that the new rating process has been applied in DWP for each individual employee covered by this performance management system. This will also be the rating process for end-of-year reviews for 2017-18. PCS will review evidence of perverse decisions arising out of the Mid-year Reviews with DWP. Your PCS Representative should copy evidence of such problems to PCS at the address below.

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