Free customisable capability policy template UK

Every business hopes that its employees are the best possible fit for the job – but sometimes that’s not the case.

Capability for the role was cited as a factor in nine out of ten disciplinary procedures, according to Acas. But good performance management can avoid the need for disciplinary action – and a capability policy is at the heart of that process.

Simply Business has teamed up with Clarkslegal LLP to offer a series of downloadable legal documents that you can customise for your own business. One of those is a free capability policy template, which you can download below. You can also read our quick-start guide to introducing a capability policy in your business.

Capability policy template - free PDF or Word download

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Why use a Clarkslegal template?

Every business is different, with unique legal requirements. However, most small firms can’t afford dedicated legal counsel. To tackle this, Clarkslegal offers a range of downloadable, customisable legal document templates that you can adapt for your own business.

What is a capability policy?

The ‘capability’ of an employee is their ability to perform the work expected by the employer to the standard required. There’s a number of factors that could impact capability, including skill, training, and health.

A capability policy is at the core of a good performance management strategy. Unlike a disciplinary procedure, a capability policy is intended to encourage improving the employee’s performance so it meets the company’s expectations.

However, a capability policy will also explain that actions (including dismissal) may be considered in the event that performance does not improve.

Why does my business need a capability policy?

The overarching aim of a capability policy is to help an employee improve their performance. It’s about encouragement and support, as opposed to the punishment involved in disciplinary proceedings.

By introducing a capability policy you can demonstrate to your employees that you’re willing to take their concerns seriously, and that you won’t immediately resort to punitive actions in the event of underperformance. It also signals that you’re sensitive to each employee’s unique circumstances, including health, training and related concerns.

But a capability policy is also an important protection for employers. While it’s intended to encourage and support, it should also make clear that continued underperformance may end in dismissal.

What’s included in the capability policy template?

Our capability policy template includes:

  • An outline of the purpose of the policy, and reassurance that it’s intended to support the employee
  • An explanation, however, that continued failure to achieve the required standards could result in disciplinary action or dismissal
  • Details of informal counselling meetings that will take place when a manager has concerns about performance
  • An explanation that a formal capability procedure will be triggered when concerns or targets raised in the informal session have not been met or sustained
  • An explanation that a formal capability procedure could be triggered in circumstances where there has been a fall in performance significant enough to warrant it without an informal warning
  • Details of the formal procedure: first formal warning; final written warning; and dismissal
  • Information on how an employee can appeal against a warning or a decision to dismiss, and details of how an appeal will be handled

Click to download a PDF of the capability policy template.

If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our capability policy template in Word format.

The attached document has been produced by Clarkslegal so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We’d recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.

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