First Warning Confirmation Letter (Poor Performance)

First Warning Confirmation Letter (Poor Performance)


To be used as part of a company’s disciplinary process. In the event that informal verbal warnings about an employee’s performance have failed to improve it, a company would escalate the matter to the first written warning stage. This is the first stage of formal disciplinary action. It is normal for a company to issue a first written warning, then a final written warning then move to dismissal.

In some cases, an employee’s performance may be so poor that informal action is not appropriate and it may be deemed suitable to move straight to a written warning.


You should consider the following:

  • The employee’s performance – is it sufficiently poor to warrant a first written warning?
  • Will any other disciplinary action follow with this letter i.e. additional training etc?
  • How long will the matter be placed on the employee’s personnel file (i.e. their overall record of their time at the company)? will it be permanent or will it be removed after a defined period?
  • How long (if at all) will the written warning be effective as part of the company’s disciplinary proceedings? If for example there is sufficient improvement without a noticeable lapse after six months or a year, will the company allow this warning to lapse and therefore any future recurrence would mean that the employee is to be the subject to the disciplinary procedure as if it was the first instance of such poor performance?
  • What will the consequences be if the employee continues to underperform? Will another competence hearing be held or will the matter move automatically to a Final Warning Confirmation Letter (poor performance) or possible dismissal?

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