This sample employee probationary period policy template should be adapted to your company’s needs and circumstances. It serves as a foundation for your company policies with respect to employee probation.
A probationary period is a specified time during which a new employee works for the company before being confirmed as full-time staff.
This gives a transitional space during which either party is allowed by the company policy and the law to terminate the contract at short notice.
This period is the company’s chance to affirm its decision to hire new employees who can join the company as permanent staff after the successful completion of the probation period.
This company probation policy layout is a framework for the probation period in terms of the time and obligations of both the employee and the company.
All prospective and current employees of the company are subject to this policy.
The Policy Highlights
Following are the categories of employees who may be placed on probation:
- New employees who have just qualified to join the company on a permanent basis.
- Current employees who have been promoted to a senior position, or transferred to a different station.
- Current employees with disciplinary cases or whose performance has declined and requires close observation.
The length of the probationary period may be determined by the position in the company but always according to the law. The period will be specified in the letter of appointment and in the employee handbook, which is accessible to all staff.
Should the need arise to extend the probationary period, the employee will receive formal notification in writing. This notification will clearly spell out the reason(s) for the extension and list the performance objectives up for evaluation during the extension.
We strive to strengthen the hiring process to ensure only the best employees for each position get recruited.
This is not always possible as actual performance and cultural fit can be hard to deduce accurately from a candidate’s testimonials and interviews.
The probation period for new employees gives a chance to both employee and employer to asses whether the relationship will work out for the benefit of both parties.
Importance of the Probation Period
For the new employee, probation is the period of service after signing an employment contract but before being granted a letter of confirmation for permanent employment status.
During this trial period, the employee is being evaluated in terms of professional and cultural suitability to the position.
The employee receives coaching and consistent feedback on their performance including possible areas of improvement and how best to adjust within the company.
By the end of the probation period, the supervisor will determine and advise management whether the employee should be confirmed for permanent employment.
This decision on whether or not to confirm an employee on probation will be based on:
- The employee’s level of professional or technical expertise vis-a-vis the expectations for the position.
- The employee’s delivery of specific assignments during probation.
- Personality fit of the employee, mainly professional and personal integrity.
- The employee’s cultural fitness, especially their ability to integrate with their peers and staff of different cadres.
To make the above evaluation objective, each criterion will be assigned quantitative value and assessment will be documented to ensure fairness and transparency.
The decision as to whether the employee has qualified for confirmation will be made by the supervisor.
After successfully completing their probationary period, employees qualify for permanent employment status.
But they can be placed on probation again as a disciplinary measure, mainly due to poor performance or violation of company policy. The length of this probation will depend on the circumstances of each case.
Employees will, during this time, be required to demonstrate a reasonable corrective behavior or performance to forestall worse disciplinary measures which may include termination. However, the company will empathize and offer support in the form of training and guidance and they will be expected to reciprocate with corrective reforms.
A permanent employee who has been promoted or transferred to a new posting may also be placed under probation. This probation allows the company to assess the employee’s suitability to their new position and whether they will be beneficial to the company.
Should the employee be deemed un unsuitable fit, they may be allowed to return to their former position or another solution may be sought at the discretion of the supervisor.
Termination of Probationary Contract
An employee duly evaluated as unsuitable while on probation can be terminated at shorter notice than the one provided by law. Such termination may be for or without cause, depending on the evaluation results or circumstances of each case.
Termination can also occur before the end of the probationary period, especially if the evaluation process posts uninspiring outcomes or if the employee engages in behavior that warrants cause for dismissal.
The decision to terminate the employee will be officially documented, stating reasons for the termination and the date it takes effect.
Termination of employees after the probation period is guided by national laws governing employee termination.
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