Once you have hired a candidate from us, it is essential that candidates are given a probation or fixed term contract as soon as they start.

Many people believe that a probation period entitles the employer to dismiss the new candidate at any stage for any reason, including not appearing to fit in, however this is definitely not the case. The labour law meaning of probation is testing the employee’s work performance, and is the only legitimate purpose of a probationary period.

A newly hired employee may be placed on probation for a period that is reasonable given the circumstances of the job. During this time, an employer should give an employee whatever evaluation, instruction, training, guidance or counselling the employee requires to provide a level of work that is to your satisfaction and in line with the job description.

What does this mean for you?

From day 1, the new staff member in the probation period must be monitored closely, given support and guidance, and any shortcomings in work performance must be addressed, by giving the employee be necessary evaluation, counselling, instruction, training and guidance in order to assist him to achieve and maintain the required work performance standard.The employee must be given an opportunity to state what he/she think is the cause of the non-performance, and what he/she thinks should be done in order to overcome the problem.

According to the Code of Good Practice – Dismissal, in Schedule 8 to the Labour Relations Act, very clear requirements are given:

(2) After probation, an employee should not be dismissed for unsatisfactory performance unless the employer has-

(a) given the employee appropriate evaluation, instruction, training, guidance or counselling; and

(b) after a reasonable period of time for improvement, the employee continues to perform unsatisfactorily.

(3) The procedure leading to dismissal should include an investigation to establish the reasons for the unsatisfactory performance and the employer should consider other ways, short of dismissal, to remedy the matter.

(4) In the process, the employee should have the right to be heard and to be assisted by a trade union representative or a fellow employee.

The utmost care and consideration is taken by the HR Company Solutions team to find the best suited employees for your business. If, however, at the end of the probation period you are not satisfied by the employee’s performance, you must be able to show that the above procedure of evaluation, counselling, guidance and training has taken place, that the employee has been given a reasonable opportunity to state his/her case and to state what he/she thinks is the cause of the problem, and to state and implement (within reason) what measures he/she suggests are required to rectify the problem.

Just a reminder that HR compliance is very important when hiring new staff, and it’s crucial to check on your employee files monthly to ensure no one has an expired contract or any outstanding documentation.

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