Taking on a new job is always an exciting and nerve-racking experience. On the one hand, you have an opportunity and will want to do everything you can to make a success of it. On the other, everything is new, you need to adopt the right attitude and observe all the company rules.
The majority of these are laid out in the staff handbook which you will need to adhere to under the terms of your contract. However, one area that is often less clear is probation.
The Rules Of Probation
Most people except to undergo probation for a set period, perhaps three or six months. However, in most cases, this isn’t covered by a specific employment law unless the probation terms are included in your contract.
In most cases, this makes probation a verbal affair. This is actually a good thing. Probationary periods are designed to help an employer establish if a new member of staff is capable of a specific role and can blend well with the existing team and ethos of the business. They are also a way for a new employee to confirm they are happy with the company, the role they have been given, and the people they work with.
The key point of a probationary period is that you can leave with little or no notice.
Being Dismissed During Probation
It is important to note that, unless the terms of probation are specifically stated in the employment contract, both the employer and employee are still bound by standard employment terms.
In other words, if your contract is terminated and due process isn’t followed or it is for a discriminatory reason, you have the right to contact an unfair dismissal lawyer and take the company to court.
In short, a company has to be very careful if dismissing during probation to ensure that they comply with all regulations.
Having a probationary period extended is not unusual. There are many times when the employee or the employer is not fully convinced that the two parties are a perfect match. Instead of terminating it is often better to extend the probationary period and talk about where they both feel there are issues.
This allows both parties to work on the issues. At the end of the probationary extension, it will be clear whether the arrangement will work. In other words, it is very unusual for a probationary period to be extended twice.
Should You Be Worried About Probationary Extension?
The short answer is no unless you have done something that required you to be reprimanded. It simply means the relationship is still being assessed. However, it is important that when the probationary period is extended you understand why.
If there are no reasons given then you should be concerned. Of course, even if you are on probation the business cannot simply fire you. They must follow due process and you can speak to an employment lawyer to help ensure you are taken care of.