FAQ series : Question 1 – Must I cease a performance management process if someone says “I am stressed”?
Unfortunately, there is no stock answer to this question. Being stressed by the process or the potential consequence of not improving performance is certainly not sufficient enough reason to stop a performance management process. However, it is a red flag that you should ensure the employee has support through the process such as access to an EAP.
To decide if you should stop the process or not, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the person have medical certification? If they do, are there any limitations on the medical certificate about participating in the process?
- Has the employee disclosed to you that their mental health status may be the reason or a substantive contributor to the issues subject to the performance management?
- Do you have the medical information you need to safely and confidently proceed?
This is a very complex area to navigate. If after asking yourself the above questions and considering the answers, you are still unsure if you should proceed with the process, you should seek professional advice specific to the circumstances. A further consideration is that if you reach the decision that you should not proceed, particularly if the employee is considered not well enough to participate in the process, you should also consider if the person is able to safely continue in their position or if reasonable accommodations may be necessary or if other strategies need to be considered.
Keep an eye out for the next FAQ in the series. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance in any HR or IR issue firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 3218 3919.