Are you incompetent?
New early-warning procedure now in force
On 9 November Barry Wilson signed the European Parliament (EP) guide on the remedial procedure, which aims to deal with staff incompetence — another novelty of the new staff regulations. The bureau adopted our in-house rules on the remedial procedure and incompetence last July.
What is it?
The new staff regulations (article 51) say the institutions must "define procedures to identify, deal with and remedy cases of incompetence" and that "incompetent" officials "may be dismissed, downgraded or classified in a lower function group." The remedial procedure is the EP's way of dealing with such problems upstream, i.e. a rescue plan before anyone gets labelled 'incompetent' or 'non-deserving' (i.e. before you get 0 points).
The idea is to spot cases of underperformance early and help the official concerned get back on track.
Does it affect me?
Let's hope not. But the rules apply to all officials.
The rules are now in force.
How does it work?
- If your boss detects "signs of incompetence" s/he calls you for a meeting to discuss what's wrong. You both then meet up with your final assessor who draws up a special remedial plan — short-term objectives, new tasks, training, behavioural aspects, etc. You all sign this plan.
- DG PERS may appoint a special advisor to help oversee the whole procedure. The advisor cannot be anyone from your line management.
- At the end of the year in question, you sit down with your boss and final assessor and your advisor to see if the remedial plan is working. If things have improved, then that's the end of the matter. If not, you continue with the plan, amended if necessary, into the following year.
- If the remedial plan doesn't solve the problem by the end of year two then, after another meeting between you, your assessors and your advisor, your boss writes to the appointing authority recommending what measures to take.
What redress do I have?
You may, at any time, contest the assessments of your performance. You can ask a staff committee member, or any other colleagues, to accompany you to interviews. You can also refer your case to the reports committee.
For full details and the texts, see careers on Inside (scroll down to Professional incompetence).
Well, I think you'll agree that they've really got it sorted out this time...