Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

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Probation – yes or no?

There is talk around the block that probation periods are pointless because new employees can only claim unfair dismissal once they have been employed for 104 consecutive weeks.

Hugh-BillotAn unfair dismissal describes a dismissal which does not fall within the five potentially fair reasons for dismissing an employee, namely: conduct; capability; redundancy; illegality or some other substantial reason. Since 6 April 2012 a new employee has needed two years’ continuous service before they can earn the statutory right to issue an unfair dismissal claim.

So if you can dismiss an employee before the two year mark without fear of an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, what’s the point of having a probation period, which normally last for three to six months? Well there are quite a few benefits and for both parties.

All employees do have rights from day one of employment including the right not to be discriminated against due to the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. They also have rights to a notice period and to accrued but untaken holiday pay. So if you dismiss an employee without good reason, you may still find yourself in the Employment Tribunal.

Employers have benefits too. Requirements to be met may be laid down for the probation period to condition employee performance and contribution. Shorter notice periods may be introduced into the probation period reducing the cost of dismissal. Further employees will become used to regular appraisal/assessment through their probationary term and, therefore, will have become accustomed to continuous assessment on an ongoing basis which is to be found in most progressive companies.

Finally, the data collected at appraisals or probationer reviews will be helpful if, at some stage after probation, you decide to dismiss the employee.

So, in my opinion, probation is a valuable and meaningful entry into employment as long as it is managed.

Dr Hugh Billot, Deputy Chairman

HR GO Group of Recruitment Companies

HR GO Recruitment offers solutions to all your staffing needs, temporary and permanent, please call 0845 130 7000

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