I manage an unproductive subordinate, who has worked for the company for about 8 years. The issue was first raised almost 2 years ago, and has been gradually getting worse. The problem is not the quality of work, but the time it takes to complete the work. I have tried several different methods to try making him more productive.
He gives his health conditions and problems outside of work as reasons for the poor productivity, which just sound like excuses. Before his health conditions were disclosed to me, I found he was unable to focus on his work and instead kept staring at his screen for long durations.
HR are involved due to his health conditions, and have been working with him on a list of reasonable adjustments. However, this has been going on for over 2 years. He says the deadlines being set are for his benefit, but he cannot meet them because of his problems outside of work.
As part of the reasonable adjustments, I feel like I have to walk on eggshells. I can't Skype him when he works from home, and he does not respond to my emails, so I have no idea what he is doing or why his work is taking so long. When I ask when his work would be complete, he says "tomorrow" or "next week", but when that comes around, his response is the same again. I am less productive due to the time I spend managing him, and I even end up taking his work home and completing it at night.
His previous line manager, who is now my boss, had the same problem, and is frustrated with the process. He advises me to avoid doing anything that could put the company at the risk of battling an unfair dismissal case in court. He has been pushing for the list of reasonable adjustments, but now the subordinate says he is angry with the company as he feels he is not being understood. Approaching HR is not particularly useful as they are either out of the office or unavailable for meetings.
I would now simply like to fire him, but I want to avoid being accused of unfairly dismissing my subordinate. This is my first time managing such a situation. What can I do to improve the situation that won't get me in trouble for firing him?