My performance appraisal has highlighted several areas where training is required. How can I still get my job done and attend training?

If these are essential development needs in order for you to perform your job effectively and safely, your employer should be supportive of your need for time off.

You should identify what policies your employer has on training and development, and what they say about time off for training, as well as cover during your training.

You should remind your manager that your development needs have been identified as part of your formal performance appraisal.

You should agree with your manager which aspects of your current workload are essential and need to be completed as soon as possible, and which aspects may be delayed. This may enable you to get your job done and still take advantage of the development opportunity.

If it is essential that you still complete all of your work, and this would make it difficult for you to take the time off for training, discuss the possibility of someone covering your job during the time you will be away. Remember that keeping staff up to date, motivated and competent through the provision of training and development opportunities benefits not only the individual member of staff, but the organisation as a whole.

A worrying trend over recent years has been the spread of increasingly punitive and unfair performance management regimes, across all sectors of the economy, leading to low morale, raised levels of poor mental health and discrimination.

There is growing evidence that these systems can produce discriminatory outcomes, with Black and Minority Ethnic, part-time and disabled workers the worst affected. For example, the Public and Commercial Services Union has commissioned important research showing this in the Civil Service. You can find the research on their website.

Campaigning and negotiating for better systems that positively support workers in improving their skills is a major issue for trade unions. Several unions have produced free materials, available to download from their websites, to help workers to prepare for their performance review. Take a look at these, especially if you think you might be at risk of being given a formal performance warning or being dismissed for 'poor performance'.

If you are not yet a member of a trade union and would like more information about how to join or which union might be best suited to your needs, browse our Union Finder tool.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.