Performance reviews can benefit both employers and employees. For employers they can allow the employer to communicate to employees their expectations for the period ahead. For employees they allow an insight into how their performance is assessed and valued by the employer. When faced with a performance meeting, here are three things you should note:
Make a record of the meeting
When called into a meeting, we recommend you:
- Write everything down that is discussed in the meeting;
- Request others present to sign the record if they agree with its contents; and
It sounds simple, however accurate notes will assist you to recall all that happened. Stick to the facts of the meeting and if possible, you can ask anyone else present at the meeting to check and verify the accuracy of your notes.
Some employers will create their own transcript of the meeting. If this is the case, request a copy of the transcript and ask for it to be amended if there is something you believe is not accurate.
Regarding secret recordings, it must be noted that the States and Territories have different positions regarding their legality. Below, we have listed each piece of legislation throughout all jurisdictions in Australia which may apply.
||Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (VIC)
||Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 (QLD)
||Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NT)
||Surveillance Devices Act 1998 (WA)
||Listening and Surveillance Devices Act 1972 (SA)
|AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
||Listening Devices Act 1992 (ACT)
|NEW SOUTH WALES
||Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW)
||Listening Devices Act 1991 (TAS)
Please note: Generally, if you are not part of the meeting, you shouldn’t record or listen-in to a conversation using a surveillance or recording device. There are also laws which may prohibit you from publicising or communicating the recording of a private conversation.
In your performance meeting, your employer may point to tasks or projects that you are working on which also contain confidential information. If you are privately recording the conversation, this may result in a breach of company policies and/or terms of your employment contract.
You can have a support person
In cases related to unfair dismissals, the Fair Work Commission considers a range of factors in determining whether the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. One of these considerations is whether there was unreasonable refusal by the employer to have a support person present to assist in discussions relating to dismissal.
This is a matter of procedural fairness and during what is a stressful time for many, you should be allowed a support person for emotional support during this meeting.
A support person can be anyone you choose including; co-worker, friend, family member, union representative, union delegate. Amongst roles, a support person can take notes on your behalf or check the accuracy of your meeting notes.
You can read our guide: ‘What is the role of a support person’ here.
Contact Professionals Australia
If you’ve been given a notice of a meeting to discuss your performance, you can contact Workplace Advice and Support. We have a team of lawyers and industrial experts who can provide tailored advice to help you deal with an upcoming meeting.
If you’re ambushed or suddenly called into a meeting, we can also support you! If you’re caught in such a situation, please PHONE us immediately. Because ambush meetings are sudden, many tend to forget their rights and/or seek out advice and support. We can give you a real-time assessment of the situation if you’re caught off-guard.
If you’d like to know how we can support you, read case study on ‘Ambush meetings’ here.
This publication is general information only and is not intended to be used as legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.