A probationary period gives you the opportunity to assess whether your new employee is capable, reliable and suitable for the job. The standard period is usually three to six months and is written into all contracts of employment. A probationary period is not a separate period of employment and new recruits receive the same entitlements as other employees.
During this time, you may hold regular reviews so you can give your employee necessary support and opportunities to fix any problems or concerns on either side. This gives them the best chance of passing the probationary period successfully.
As soon as the probationary period is over, let your employee know whether they have passed. If they are unsuccessful, you can extend their probationary period or end their employment. Always have a written record of this discussion.
It is extremely important to remember that probationary employees still have the same rights as other employees for notice periods and dismissal and are entitled to have their unused leave paid out.
If you choose to hire them permanently, your employee can accrue and access their paid leave entitlements, such as annual or sick leave.
Probationary periods can have a different purpose for trainees and apprentices.
Employsure will advise you how to approach probationary periods. For peace of mind, you can speak with a Workplace Specialist on our Advice Line on 1300 651 415 at anytime – day or night.