Even if an employee impresses you during the interviews, there is no guarantee that they will perform as per your standards. The mettle and skills of a candidate are only exposed on the job.
While you may not completely prevent misrepresentation during interviews, you can enforce probation periods to protect you from lazy, unskilled and dishonest employees.
But what, what is a probationary period and how can you use it correctly? Are they legal?
Read on to find the answers to these and more.
Quite simply, it’s a time frame stipulated by the company within which the HR tests if the new employee is a perfect fit for the company or not. This time allows both employees and employers to test the waters before committing to a lasting working relationship.
During this period, an employee can be dismissed with little notice if the company deems them unsuitable for the job. Typically, probation periods last between three and six months. However, they can be shorter or extended depending on the employment contract.
Below are other situations when probationary periods are invoked.
An employer can take an employee through probation for a couple of reasons including;
Though probationary periods are common, it doesn’t mean that employers should abuse it. If anything, the period should be clearly stipulated within the employment contract. It terms should include:
In addition to this, employers should ensure new employees are aware of the probationary period and understand what it means for them.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a labor law probationary period. But if you include the clause in the employment contract, it is binding.
Aside from this, ensure your reasons for termination of employment during the probationary period are not discriminatory. This is important because you’ll have to provide evidence to support your claims.
Employee rights during probation aren’t similar to those of employees less than two years old in the company. This means that an employee on probation has the right to; earn above the national minimum wage, take time off according to the state laws, statutory notice, sick pay, and family-related leaves.
Moreover, they are protected against automatic and unfair dismissal and discrimination. Aside from this, as an employer, you can decide to reserve the entitlement of some non-statutory benefits including enhanced sick pay until they pass the probation period successfully.
If you still have questions on probationary periods, you should consult an employment law attorney. The attorney can help you set up the probation period clause and guide you through any legal claim that arises from the period.
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