PALs in Pension Credit

12 Feb 2019

GEC negotiators met with Retirement Provision Directorate (RPD) management on 1 February to discuss concerns raised about the imposition on Performance, Action and Learning Plans (PALs) on members in Pension Credit. 

Members had told the group exectitve committee (GEC) that they had been put on PALs as a direct consequence of targets being missed and that these were being used punitively, something which goes entirely against the intention of the PALs process which is to support improvements in performance.  Members reported instances of being told that the two lowest performing individuals on each team would have informal PALs put in place and that if they did not improve within two weeks that a formal PAL would be imposed.

The GEC has made our concerns at this clear to RPD senior management and they have given assurances that the PALs should not be used in this way. They are working with the managers in Pension Credit to improve their understanding and communication on performance.  They agreed that PALs should never be used as a punitive measure and that there should be no individual targets.

Furthermore, RPD agreed that there should be no instances of PALs being put in place solely as a result of a metric such as how many cases are cleared in an hour, day, etc. Any performance measures should be on the basis of a contribution towards team goals and performance should always be judged taking into account all personal and individual circumstances including any reasonable adjustments and the complexity of any particular cases which might be being dealt with.

The GEC reached an agreement with RPD that they will review all of the PALs currently in place within Pension Credit and that they will withdraw any that are not appropriate.  They will also ensure that any PALs in future are handled in a supportive and appropriate way to support any individual requiring help with their performance, be that through training, coaching or agreeing reasonable adjustments as appropriate.

Members should highlight concerns to their local reps and any instances where they believe a PAL process has been done inappropriately.  RPD management will decide the timescale for the review of the PALs and GEC negotiators will then meet with RPD again to discuss the outcome.

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