So Mrs May has had another meeting with Sir Graham Brady and the pressure on her to resign increases almost daily. The Conservative party has all sorts of complicated procedures to go through before it can dismiss its leader, but back in the real world can you really just show the door to an employee you believe is under-performing?

No, not if you want to stay out of the Employment Tribunal. If the employee has over two years’ service they can bring an unfair dismissal claim so you need to tread carefully. You can’t just tell them you have letters from 75% of their colleagues saying they must go. You need to invite them to a meeting, explain how their performance is below acceptable standards and give them a reasonable time to improve.  If there is no improvement you should give them another chance. The whole process of meetings and warnings can take 3 to 6 months.

Not got that sort of time?  Another option is to enter into “pre-termination negotiations” with the employee, in an attempt to persuade them that it would be better to leave on agreed terms rather than go down the poor performance route. They are unlikely to agree to this unless there is some financial incentive involved so be prepared to get your cheques books out.  Also bear in mind that you can’t force an employee to go quietly.  If they think they are the best performing employee you have, and are determined to stay, then a long procedure may be the only option.

If they agree to go then make any payment conditional upon signing a Settlement Agreement.  That will ensure you don't face any nasty Tribunal claims.