Tara Lawson, HR Director at People Puzzles explaining what protected conversations are.
Tara: A protected conversation is the opportunity to have an off the record conversation with an employee. It gives you the chance to have a really candid, honest conversation around areas that you might not be happy with, that you want changed, and they can often be used in an ultimatum situation.
To arrange a conversation you would invite someone to a meeting, they don’t have to have advanced warning and you need to have a conversation with them under the the E1.11 Employment Rights Act. Which basically means that they can’t bring a claim against you about what’s been said in that conversation. It only protects you with unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal. So It doesn’t give you carte blanche to be discriminatory or to say anything else that might be inappropriate.
After that conversation if they don’t choose to go with what you proposed then they will be going down a disciplinary route, down the performance management route or a pay-off may be forced in another way.