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3 month probation- rights

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
My hubby is 2 months into a 3 month probation and he asked his supervisor last week what happens when he reaches the end of the 3 month period. His supervisor told him that he will be required to sit down with the manager and discuss all the important stuff like signing a new contract, discussing any wage increases, perks of the job etc etc. My hubby asked if he had anything to worry about as he hasn't been given any feedback yet, and the supervisor said he didn't have anything to worry about although he would have to wait till the 3 months is over as he didn't want to give him the impression all was OK for him to then slack etc for the last month. My hubby said that he felt it would be unfair for them to dismiss him as he hadn't received any feedback so if, say, they laid him off for not doing something correctly he could turn around and ask why they didn't warn him before to give him chance to improve.

At work today he got pulled into the office by his manager and told that he is not performing as well as he was for the first month. Apparently it wasn't a warning just a review and they said they do not wish to get rid of him as he is hardworking, punctual etc but not performing so well in the job itself. They said that this 'review' would remain on his file. It seems like an easy way to get rid of him, especially since he raised last week about being given the opportunity to improve if necessary. Of course he will take their comments on board but he said he feels like he is not fitting in with the team and they are trying to push him out. The manager said that those who had passed the probationary period in the past had not been given these 'reviews' whilst on probation. Anyway things have been going on and the blame keeps falling on him, and apparently it gets proved not to be him and he gets an apology but he said he feels like they are trying to find a reason to get rid of him. He also said they said to him today that they are the quietest they have been in years, perhaps they will say they no longer need him?

What are his rights if they do dismiss him? Can they say he isn't good enough and that's that? Or could they say that he is a good worker but unfortunately they haven't got the workload? What is the correct procedure when reaching the end of a probationary period? I'm worrying as he gave up a permanent full time job for this job as the company he worked for were placed into administration but then bailed out but kept not paying him etc, so he moved as he was working for an unstable company, not getting paid etc and subsequently felt really demotivated and depressed. It would be horrible if he doesn't get taken on permanently not to mention very worrying for us financially!


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This probably isn't what you want to hear but your husband's employers could let him go at the end of his probationary period if they felt he wasn't performing well or didn't fit in with the team. The terms of your husband's probation should have been made clear at the time his employers took him on. Normally a probationary period is a two way street in that either the employer or the new employee could decide to end the employment at any time during the three months with no blame attached on either side. Looking on the bright side, if the worst does come to the worst and they do let your husband go, his employers will probably agree to write a brief reference so it shouldn't affect his chances of getting another job.

    I was subject to probationary periods of between three and six months for all of my private sector jobs. Though, it must be said, I never had a "review" before being given a permanent contract at the end of the probation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Generally, there is an an appraisal/assessment at the end of the three months, and a person is graded from 1 to 5.

    I think your husband should ask his boss as to how he can improve.

    It seldom is the case that after a three month period, they would not take somebody on after getting a good appraisal. He just needs to hang on in there, and get on and he should be OK.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    Understandably you are worried about your husband's work situation and what could happen at the end of his 'probation period'.

    You may like to read the Citizen Advice Bureau's page about 'Contracts of Employment' - just scroll down until you find 'Probationary periods'.

    It is interesting to note that probationary periods do not exist in law; you are an employee the first day you start working for the firm.

    A contract of employment determines the rights and obligations of both the employer and employee. It should state if there is going to be a probationary period, how long it will be and what the rights are for this period. Has your husband signed any such contract with his employers?

    If not, he still has rights as a worker and cannot just be dismissed without reason. If he finds himself being unfairly dismissed or treated, he should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

    He can contact the local Citizen's Advice Bureau. He could also contact Acas - an organisation that aims to improve better working relations.

    It seems like this firm are using this 'probation period' to hide behind and avoid answering any direct questions. So it might be worth your husband trying to talk to them and pushing them for answers that he needs.

    Hope this helps and that this frustrating situation is resolved soon. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well he has come to the end of his probation period and they have extended it by one more month- apparently he has to 'change' else they will have to let him go. Asked what they wanted him to 'change' they didn't give him anything specific to go on. He has since gone back to see his manager and asked him to tell him what he could do to prove himself and basically the manager said he keeps making errors and provided examples of times where my hubby had made these supposed errors which mostly (although he has made the odd mistake- he's human) these could have been avoided with better training and a better handover so that he would know exactly how things should be done. He said he has spoken to loads of people all of which have said he is a brilliant worker; he turns up on time every day, he hasn't gone sick once or turned up late once or had to leave early or anything like that, he is polite, he actually wants to work and shows enthusiasm and he is really flexible, doing overtime when asked and multi-tasking during the day to cover periods of sick leave/absence in other areas. He still thinks they are looking for excuses to get rid of him and that his direct supervisor has it in for him. Not a good situation :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds like they are just keeping on a good worker, on a temp contract incase they need to get rid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    An odd situation, as during the probation they do not need to "look for an excuse to get rid of him", they could just do it. I think I'd be looking elsewhere by now.
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