UCL News


Consultation on changes to the UCL HR Capability Policy

17 November 2016

As part of an ongoing review of UCL's HR policies and procedures, a new UCL Capability Policy has been drafted in consultation with the campus trade unions.

Quad in autumn It is proposed that the new policy will replace the current Capability Policy.

The new policy has been drafted in the new standard policy template, which aims to provide clarity and ensure that policies and procedures are more accessible and easier to understand for staff and managers.

The Capability Policy determines the procedures to be followed when managing underperforming staff at UCL. The policy is designed to help ensure line managers act in accordance with UCL's core behaviours and in line with the principles of fairness, confidentiality, natural justice, and academic freedom, when managing performance. The policy also sets out how line managers can support staff being managed for their underperformance and provides tools for effective target setting and review.

The Capability Policy has been drafted to be compliant with the Acas Code of Practice.

High level changes proposed include:

· One streamlined policy with appendices that cover:

o Procedure

o A flowchart for its application

o Appeals

o Setting objectives

o A UCL Performance Plan to support line managers and staff

· In response to staff survey feedback, a reduction in the number of stages of the policy from four to three, with there being only two formal stages proposed.

· References to sickness or absence dismissals on the grounds of capability, and disability-related absence have been removed.

· Notification periods for hearing dates, advanced documentation, and hearing outcomes, have been standardised at five working days in most instances.

· The rights and responsibilities of both line managers and staff have been clarified.

· Updated terminology to bring the policy in line with other UCL HR policies, including the standardisation of the length of time formal warnings are live for.

The new policy is intended to apply to all current and new UCL staff, including staff currently covered by the IOE or MRC capability policies.

All employees are now invited and encouraged to review the proposed documents and share their comments to feed into final discussions before formal approval is sought for the policy. The all staff consultation is open from 21st November to 4th December.

To participate, please visit the consultation website.

Adam Connell, Senior HR Policy Advisor, UCL Human Resources