The Labour Court is very clear on probation: Use dismissal as a last resort.
How do you do this?
Consider these four alternatives before you dismiss an employee on probation
You MUST investigate the reasons for the bad performance. And look at other ways to remedy the matter. For example, you may:
Important: In the case of the National Union of Mineworkers & another v Libanon Gold Mining Co Ltd (1994) 15 ILJ 585 (LAC), the Court said what was generally required was:
An employee on probation is no different from a longer serving employee
Remember, an employee on probation is no different from a longer serving employee. The Labour Relations Act says you must justify the dismissal of probationary employees the same way you'd justify dismissing any other employee.
This means you can't, at the end of the probation ask your employee to leave without arranging a formal hearing and considering whether dismissal is an appropriate sanction.
Here's a checklist for a fair probationary period
Checklist #1: Give employees a chance to state their case
Checklist #2: Follow a fair dismissal procedure even if your employee clearly failed to meet your standards
Checklist #3: Provide your employee with the necessary guidance and assistance
Checklist #4: Give the employee enough time to improve
Well there you have it. Consider the above mentioned alternatives before you dismiss an employee on probation. This'll help ensure you don't end up at the Labour Court.
Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to receive these free articles in your inbox daily.