Probation: Some Questions Answered

Q: What is probation?

A: Probation can be defined as a ‘trial period’ given to an employee as a platform to demonstrate his or her suitability for continued employment with the employer.

Q: Is probation necessary for all employment?

A: It is common but not mandatory. Practically, employment should come with probation. It gives both employers and employee the opportunity to evaluate the suitability of each other.

Q: How long is the probation period?

A: It can be anything between 1 month and 6 months (a 3-month period is also not uncommon). It does not stop there as the employer can extend the period at their discretion (this intention is usually stipulated in letter of offer) to give more time for the worker to perform and improve his or her work.

Q: Why probation? What good is it for me the employee?

A: Many have this wrong perception that probation is introduced to safeguard the employer because to them, the employer can fire them at will during the probation period. Probation is not a tool that can be used freely because the abuse of it can land the employer in court. If an employee finds one or more elements unfit with his personality or style, he can choose to leave during the probation period.

In a nutshell, both employers and employees benefit from probation employment.

Q: Upon confirmation, will I be getting the same salary or a new, increased salary?

A: This depends on the agreement between you and your employer. If you’re told verbally by the employer, make sure it is reflected in the agreement that you sign. Take note of the exact figures put down in the document. Make sure you discuss in great depth not only about salary but also other terms and conditions which may differ between during probation and as a confirmed employee.

2 Replies to “Probation: Some Questions Answered”

  1. I would like to know the usual duration of days/weeks one who is still in probation to leave, or is that stated individually in the offer letter? Should there be no mention of the duration, what is the standard duration of days/weeks before someone can leave without risk?

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