One clause in employment contracts that is often misunderstood is the Probationary period. This is a crucial period, it can commence immediately a new employee starts work and can continue for up to 12 months, to include holiday entitlements. Typically between 3 and 11 months.
The probationary period allows time for an employer to establish the aptitude, attitude and suitability of a new employee. If all goes well, employment will be confirmed as permanent at the end of the probationary period. If there are doubts about the suitability of the employee, there are some simple steps that can be taken:
• Step 1: Implement a performance appraisal process. Meet with the employee and discuss concerns about their performance or suitability and how and by when they need to improve. Encourage them to discuss any concerns they might have about the job. Also let them know the possible consequences if things don’t improve.
• Step 2: If there is still no satisfactory improvement, call a meeting with the employee and explain that the performance hasn’t improved, they don’t seem to have settled or have not met expectations. You may decide to give them more time to improve or you may decide that their employment is not going to be confirmed and terminate.
• Remember that during a probationary period, employment may be terminated at the employer’s absolute discretion.
During the probationary, after 13 weeks, notice of termination is one week, unless the contract states otherwise.
When the probationary period is managed correctly the process of confirmation or termination of employment should be straightforward and satisfactory for employee and employer.
For more on this and all your employment law needs call us on 01 6622755 or www.isme.ie
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