Most employers will have a system of annual or biannual performance reviews designed to create a routine forum for feedback and performance appraisal. Performance reviews are not strictly required by law and some employers may choose not to have a formal process of appraisal at all or may use some alternative to the classic yearly ‘sit down’ approach.
However, if you form part of the vast majority of employees who are asked by their employer to participate in a regular performance review process, then you are under an obligation to comply with that request, provided that the direction is lawful and reasonable.
Many businesses will have policies and procedures outlining how performance reviews are to be conducted, as well as possible outcomes and further processes depending on the review results. Refusal to participate in a reasonable performance review may be considered unreasonable by an employee and may result in disciplinary action by the employer.
If you believe you are being unfairly discriminated against or bullied by being asked to participate in unreasonable performance reviews or being subject to unreasonable performance criteria, you may wish to consult an expert employment lawyer to obtain advice as to your legal rights. The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) prevents unlawful discrimination on the basis of certain attributes such as age, race, sex and employment activity. Some management activity may also constitute bullying behaviour under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Please refer to our previous articles entitled ‘Can I get sacked because I have a personality conflict with a manager?’ and ‘Is micromanaging bullying?’ or contact us for more information.