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Are you thinking of dismissing a probationer? Then FIRST read this to avoid an unfair dismissal

by , 22 February 2016
In many circumstances, you may require a newly-hired employee to undergo a probation period in order to evaluate her abilities before confirming her employment.

The length of the probation period may vary, with between 3-6 months being common practice, and with 1 month being used based on the employee's qualifications and experience.

Anything longer than 6 months will require a lot of explaining on your side.

Now, whatever that period may be, you must know that dismissing an employee within the probation
period is considered a 'problem area', and should be considered VERY carefully before doing so.

Let's look at this concern in more detail...


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As was said earlier, you, as the employer, must assess the probationer's performance regularly.

If you are not satisfied with the employee's performance you should advise the employee of any areas in which she may be failing to meet the performance standards. This can be done effectively during a performance meeting.

Now, you can ONLY decide to dismiss an employee, OR extend her probation period, AFTER you've given her the opportunity to make a case as to why she shouldn't be dismissed or why you shouldn't extend her probationary period. And it would only make sense for you to seriously consider her case.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There's tends to be a common misconception that employees on probation have fewer right that permanent employees, and that you can dismiss a probationer with very little regard to the procedure described above.

The fact of the matter is that this attitude must change, as it's that very attitude which could end you up with a case of unfair dismissal.

You should treat a probationer exactly as you would any permanent employee facing dismissal.
*Learn more vital information on how to avoid an unfair dismissal by page over to chapter D 01: Dismissals in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

If you don't already have this brilliant resource, click here and get your hands on a copy today.

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