What is an employment probation period? 

In order to assess your employee's performance and conduct a probation period is usually taken during the early stages of employment, generally for three or six months.

It is perfectly normal for employers to recruit new employees subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period. If there is a probationary period in place, the employer should make clear the duration of the period in question, whether there are any specific terms and conditions of employment which will or will not apply during the probationary period and whether terms are different during the probationary period than after the probationary period.

However, employees under a probationary period have the same rights as other employees and will accrue continuous employment in the same way as if no probationary period existed.  A Written Statement of the Main Terms and Conditions of Employment should also be issued in the probationary period during the same time scales that apply to all employees.

 

What should be done when the probation period is over?

Employers must monitor and assess work performance and conduct thoughout and address the issues with the employee.  On completion of the probationary period employers should formally review the probationary period with the member of staff. If the employee is deemed suitable this should be confirmed and the probationary period will therefore come to an end. If, however, there are continuing doubts over the employee’s suitability, the probationary period may be extended provided that employers have reserved the right to do so in writing within the original documentation issued to the employee. If the employer concludes that the employee has not reached the required standard then the employment can reasonably be terminated.

As in all the cases employers must have a designated fair reason to terminate the employment and must also act fairly in the dismissal of the employee. The key factor is for employers to be able to produce objective reasons to justify any dismissal either during or at the end of the probationary period.

Induction & Probation Guide

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