It is clear from the Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act that the purpose of a probationary period is to ensure that the company is in a position to adequately assess the “new recruit” in order to confirm employment.
In order to ensure that Companies probably utilize probation, the following 4 principals are non-negotiable:
- The company is to communicate the period of probation at the commencement of the contract to ensure that both the company and employee understand that which is expected of him/her. This period may be increased on notice to the employee after 2 below has been complied with.
- During the probationary period, the Company is to assess the employee’s performance. The company is to give an employee reasonable evaluation, instruction, training, guidance or counselling in order to allow the employee to render a satisfactory service.
- If the company determines that the employee’s performance is below standard, the company should advise the employee of any aspects in which the company considers the employee to be failing to meet the required performance standards. If the company believes that the employee is incompetent, the company may either extend the probationary period as indicated above or dismiss the employee after complying with 4 below.
- A company may only decide to dismiss an employee or extend the probationary period after the employer has invited the employee to make representations and has considered any representations made.