HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Demotion of Employee


Dear HR Professionals,

Can an employee refuse to accept a demotion due to poor performance? What should HR do?




Reply 1

The risk is retaining an employee who may now have a negative attitude toward the organization and to his or her demoted role. A negative attitude can spread quickly to or negatively affect other employees. In my opinion, you can move him/her to different position/department/location.




Reply 2

This is what I would suggest.

HR to list down the specific performance(s) that did not meet satisfactory requirements.
Go through the list with the employee and clarify the company's expectations. Let the employee acknowledge with his/her signature on the list to indicate that he/she understands what is required for that position, and that if he/she does not meet the mark, a demotion will take place.

Monitor employee for a certain period (1 to 3 months), and let it be clearly known that he/she would be demoted for not being a job fit in the current position if no improvement been noted. Ensure employee is monitored to justify assessment.

Bottom line is HR needs to make sure that the demotion is done in due fairness and objectively for the employee, as well as to meet organization's operational needs.

If, despite putting all action in the record and the employee's performance remains below par and still refuses to be demoted, management can then proceed with other measures, now that you have the paperwork to cover, should the employee decide to take legal action.




Reply 3

That's a good question. I do not have an immediate answer as well. However, it is good to have an Employee Handbook to prepare the employee for such a scenario. It is good to start one now.




Reply 4

In my opinion, I'll suggest the employee is place in a performance improvement plan instead. And if after a certain period under this plan no improvement noted or record, HR can negotiate for a job rotation to other department matching the employee job fit or behaviour.

But I'll honestly advised for release instead of demotion given it effect on the organization in terms of the employee's returns on investment to achieved the HR bottom line.




Reply 5

Before you (HR) or the department manager make any decision for demotion, suggest go through the performance improvement plan (PIP), give a chance to this employee to prove his capability and improve his performance, usually the PIP take place in 30, 60 or 90 days.

Agreed to any demotion will affect the moral of the employee as well as will spread the negative thought to the rest of the team and others,