New Acas guide to performance management for staff with disabilities

New Acas guidance on performance management for staff with disabilitiesOnly one in four organisations have adapted performance management processes to consider staff with disabilities and special needs, including conditions such as dyslexia and autism. These are the findings of research carried out by Acas which has today published new advice to address the issue. The research report entitled ‘Improvement required?’ included a survey, which asked employers about performance management systems within their workplaces. The study found that one in ten employers said that their performance management system was demotivating for staff; and only one in ten employers said that their systems were used for planning and monitoring training and development.

Acas Head of Diversity, Julie Dennis, said: “Our study reveals a varying picture when it comes to performance management systems within UK workplaces and a failure by most employers to consider adjusting them for staff with disabilities. “Performance management shouldn’t be seen as just a tool to identify poor performance or measuring against targets. A good system can help an organisation to motivate their staff, recognise the work of their employees and identify development opportunities.

“Managers should treat staff fairly when it comes to managing performance and allocate time to do it properly. Acas has published new practical guidance in this area to help get it right.”

Acas’ new advice on performance management includes some top tips for employers on how to treat their staff fairly, such as:

  • avoid surprises. Managers should be discussing and addressing problems along the way and as they arise, and not leaving concerns until the end of year performance meeting.
  • avoid favouritism. Objective criteria should be used to measure performance where possible to reduce the risk of managers being seen to favour certain employees over others; and
  • avoid discrimination. Employers should actively consider the diversity of their workforce and ensure that their arrangements are fair to all and in line with the Equality Act. For example, an employer must make reasonable adjustments if an employee with a disability is disadvantaged by their performance measures.

The full guidance can be seen at