Slipping up during probation: the employer on trial

Home Articles Industry News Slipping up during probation: the employer on trial

Probationary periods at the start of a new job are standard procedure with the majority of businesses, who use this time to assess the performance of the new recruit, from performance, to commitment through to general suitability for the role and organisation.

Many employers consider this period as invaluable, with figures suggesting as many as three-quarters of bosses regret hiring a certain member of staff.

The probationary period usually lasts for three months, but it can go up to six. The length is at the discretion of the employer, although they should not make the length of probation ‘unreasonable’.

It is important that all new recruits are supported during their probation and provided with the necessary resources that will allow them to work to an expected standard. This could include:

  • A clear job description
  • An overview of the business, procedures and departments
  • A training schedule
  • Regular review meetings where opinions on progress are shared

New employers need to be given a fair opportunity to meet expectations and managers should offer solution-based advice rather than criticism. When an employee is failing, an employer should work with the employee to address the problems and devise a plan of activity and learning that will bring them up to speed.

However, if it is clear that, despite an employer’s full support, the new recruit is failing in their role, based on their capability or conduct, it is important an intervention is made. It is not necessary for an employer to wait until the probation period is over before addressing poor performance.

If dismissal is the only option left, employers should ensure that the decision is fair and they act accordingly, such as setting out a clear dismissal procedure and providing clear communication with the new employee on the reasons and schedule of events. It is crucial that this procedure takes place before the probation period expires because an employee can rightfully presume they are confirmed in the role if they are not made aware of concerns before the end of their probation.

Ensuring the dismissal procedure is sound is vital if the employer is to avoid claims of discrimination of unfair dismissal, which the employee can rightfully claim from day one of their employment. The probationary period does not affect an employee’s statutory rights, although certain benefits can be withheld until the probationary period is successfully navigated.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Social Media

Latest Posts

RIDDOR Landing page v x

What are RIDDOR Regulations & What are Employer’s Responsibilities for RIDDOR Reportable Incidents?

Firstly many people ask what RIDDOR means, RIDDOR stands for reporting injuries diseases, and dangerous occurrences. Accidents at work can happen, even with the best …

An Employer Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

An Employer’s Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

Without wishing to delve too heavily into the current (alleged) political shenanigans, there has been much discussion about the announcement of an investigation by the …

covid vaccine 800x296 1

Your Complete Guide to Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations

Earlier this month the government announced that The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 amendment had been passed by Parliament. The …

working from home

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers?

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers? There has been a lot of media coverage recently about various companies who are reducing sick pay …

working from home

Working from home: FAQs for employers

This week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of Plan B of its COVID-19 winter response due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases …

On Key

Related Posts