After probation period- hire or fire?
Posted on 26th October 2021 at 13:06
All new staff should have a probation period. This should be written in their contract and offer letter.
Ensure you complete a good onboarding and induction process. Our blog here offers advice on this.
When the probation period ends
Once you reach the end of an employee’s probationary period then t’s time to decide whether you confirm their employment, extend the probationary period or dismiss them.
Best practice suggests that you should have a formal review meeting with the employee. Even if you are entirely happy with their performance and conduct, it’s a good opportunity to provide them with feedback on how they’ve done and give them a chance to voice their opinions about the job and what it’s like to work for the company.
On the other hand, if the employee’s performance has been unsatisfactory and you’re looking to dismiss them, the formal meeting means that you can provide them with constructive feedback on their performance and conduct. You are able to discuss any areas of concern and you can give them a clear understanding of what they will need to improve for future jobs they may have. Be wary on the grounds you have for ending their contract and we would advise discussing with an employment law specialist or HR consultancy first before taking this action.
You might want to discuss their thoughts on why their performance wasn’t up to scratch.
Did they get the right training?
Were they given effective support to help them succeed?
Were there any issues outside of their control which stopped them doing a good job?
If you identify anything that impacted their ability to do a good job, you might want to consider extending the probationary period for a time rather than simply dismiss them.
This gives you the time to address any workplace problems and may also prevent a tribunal claim. The employee has the chance to improve their performance and demonstrate competence in the full range of duties and required behaviours.
We also recommend that, prior to the meeting, you write up an assessment of the employee and set out any recommendations you are making, together with the reasons why. This will help you stay on course during the meeting and can be kept as a formal record of their performance.
If you would like to find out more about providing and managing probationary periods, or would like help to create your probation period assessment form and invitation to the review meeting, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
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