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Employers' Guide to HR

Probationary periods

This article examines the purpose of probationary periods, extensions, benefits, notice requirements and dismissal issues during probationary periods.
Last Modified on: 2011/03/07 11:08
Last Reviewed on: 2011/03/07 11:13

This article is also contained in Contracts & Terms
The vast majority of employment contracts allow for a probationary period, or trial period, of 3 or 6 months. The purpose of a probationary period is to allow the employer to assess how the employee is performing  in their new role.

The legal position; it is beneficial for an employer to stipulate a probationary period, at the end of which an employee's performance can be reviewed, however, probationary periods have no meaning in law. Any qualifying period required for statutory rights in employment starts to run from day 1 of employment, irrespective of any probationary period.

It is normal practice that during an employee's probationary period two review meetings take place: half way through the period, and at the end of the period. These meetings should allow the employee and the employer to review the employment, to discuss any problems that may have arisen, and to discuss future plans.

Benefits during probationary period

An employee accrues holiday pay under the ...


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