Performance management

Performance management landing page

Performance management systems (PMS) of one sort or another have been imposed across all government departments.

These systems are designed to link performance to pay in crude and relative terms.

The Cabinet Office has stated that the 10% of staff in the “must improve” category will face possible dismissal if their performance doesn’t reach the required standard.

Divisive and unfair

The current civil service performance management system is divisive, unfair and should be scrapped. PCS will continue to explore all legal, political and industrial avenues open to us to promote our bargaining and equality agenda around this issue. Our campaign will continue until the system is consigned to the dustbin.

Members should not be frightened to engage with the process, and should certainly challenge the system and ultimately assert their rights to fair treatment. This is particularly important in the case of groups which are statistically more likely to be placed in the must
improve category.

We are giving PCS reps and members advice and guidance for dealing with performance management, particularly in circumstances where low box markings are forced on individual members.

To challenge PMS we need to ensure:


  • Every member is informed, understands the system and feels confident to assert their rights throughout the process
  • Employers are firmly forced to follow their own policy on performance management by every member. This will lead to huge backlogs of work and intense pressure on the employer
  • That bad practice, short cuts and poor management standards are robustly challenged in every instance
  • That members are encouraged and supported to lodge grievances when bad management is highlighted
  • That the culture of isolated workers being made to engage with the system becomes a collective assertion of workers’ rights in every workplace.

Read the 12-point checklist for members.

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