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What Are My Rights During A Probation Period?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 26 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Employment Contract Probation Notice

Q.

I worked for 2 and half months for a company and was in the 3 month probation period. My employer called me in, told me I was being replaced by the person who had originally left and that I would be demoted at a pay cut of 20%.

I was also told I could leave, which is obviously the route I took. Now the employer is claiming back a week's wages of £300 in lieu of 1 week's notice pay. I feel this is totally unfair as I was constructively dismissed and do not even have a job to pay this amount back. What are my rights and obligations?

(J.A, 10 May 2009)

A.

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. In the current economic situation, losing your job is a really upsetting issue, even more so than usual. A key reason for this is the potential problem in finding new work, so you must not get sucked into a situation that was not of your making, and be careful not to become too negative and make it harder for you to get a new job.

There is a vast difference in employment law depending on your contract and what stage you are at within it. The fact that you were within the initial three-month probation period would be my first point to question – were you aware of a three-month probation period? This should have been clearly marked on your Employment Contract.

If it is clear that you 'signed up' to a three-month probation period, then there is not a whole load you can do.

However, the second point I would question is the very frustrating issue of how you were told that you could leave. You have simply said that you were 'told you could leave' – were any conditions or options given about working your one week's notice? I would suggest that this is the core factor in your argument and the one which you should shout about with your previous employer.

It sounds as though you were alone with the boss when then occurred, so as this is essentially 'your word against theirs'. I would recommend that you focus on the fact that there should have been a witness present.

If at all possible, I would suggest that you write to your previous employer, focusing on this issue and saying that you are prepared to let the matter drop if they will waiver the claim on the £300. Although essentially you could cause a bit of a stink about the lack of professionalism in how they handled the issue. They are probably aware of this, so even just a slight mention should work.

You may wish to gain additional professional advice from someone who can know more details of your case and see your employment contract in detail.

Best of luck.

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My son was on a 13 week probationary period for a job at a new pub. He was sent home from his shift yesterday and told he was being 'let go' because they had decided they had too many staff. There was no notice period given and I have argued that they should pay him for his scheduled shift this week. They have said that there were no issues with his work,just that they have too many staff. Can they terminate his contact for the reason of too many staff when there was no issue with his performance and am I right in saying they should give him a weeks notice (be has worked there 13 weeks). Thanks
Michelle - 26-Aug-19 @ 11:50 AM
I’ve been on a six month probation with my company in that six months I have unfortunately been sick for one week. And asked the boss on a few occasions is it okay to have an hour off to collect my kids from school. I’ve gone into work early on a few occasions and been left in the branch on few occasions and with no contact from the boss to say he’s not coming inThere’s a few things that I was told I have done wrong which I understand and completely accept. But on the whole I really don’t think I’ve done that much wrong in my six month probation. I was not given any review in my six month probation with the company at all to see how How I was doing in my first six months where do I stand with this
stacy batchelor - 17-Jun-19 @ 10:33 AM
Whilst on probation I told boss about medical condition that didn’t affect my work at all. Then my probation was ended few weeks later saying I made mistakes which stopped my trainer doing her job. I made few very minor errors which I corrected within minutes. A friend started job 2 weeks after me in same position and is staying. I know it’s because of medical but can’t prove it. And it’s happened in previous job. I’m so angry
Dona - 21-Jan-19 @ 8:12 AM
GOOD DAY MY SON WAS TAKING TO COURT FOR BREACH AND HE NEVER DID SPEAK TO IS EX SO HE GOT 2 YRS PROBATION SO HE LIVES WITH ME IN WEYMOUTH , HE SIGHNED ON WORKED FOR AGENCY BUT OUT OF THE BLUE HE AS TO GO TO COURSES IN POOLE AND THE AGENCY DID NOT KIE IT AS ONLY TIME OFF ON THE SICK SO HE GAVE UP ,HE IS DOWN DEPRESSED NOW , AND HE AS TO PAY IS EX MAINTANACE STRAIGHT TO NHER ACCOUNT ON MONTHLY BASIS , SHE WILL NOT LET US SEE HIM AND COURT WILL NOT LET US SEE HIM , WHAT DO WE DO
KAY - 11-Nov-18 @ 12:21 PM
I have started work in a shop as an assistant on a 3 month probationary period.I have been told that I will not receive any pay during this probationary period, is this legal?
Chasrene - 8-Nov-18 @ 12:38 PM
I have started work in a shop as an assistant on a 3 month probationary period.I have been told that I will not receive any pay during this probationary period, is this legal?
Chasrene - 6-Nov-18 @ 8:36 PM
Hello, I was working in a 3-month probationary period for Asda Stores Ltd. I was only trained 7 days out of the 14 days I was supposed to be trained for. I then suffered a brutal injury to my ankle on site. I went to the hospital and I am now in a "boot" and visitng the fractured clinic. But immediately after, I suffered this injury. I was called into my managers office and I feel I was forced to resign because he told me I would need to resign in order for myself to get a full time job there, once my foot had healed. My questions are...Is this classed as unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal? I feel I have been severely cheated and I don't know what to do.
heyzena - 23-Aug-18 @ 1:55 AM
M - Your Question:
HelloWhile I was on a 6 mths probation period and I was dismissed from my job prematurely after the area manager deemed me "unsuitable" for the role. She reached this decision just two weeks after my first review with her. When I asked the manager to explain why she felt that I was "unsuitable" she stated that as I was on probation she need not give me further explanation. Can a manager do this?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, your manager can. A probationary period is for both the employer and the employee to determine whether they think they are suitable for the role. It means either the employee or the employer can give notice to the other without any explanation or repercussions.
WorkingRights - 15-Mar-18 @ 3:36 PM
Hello While I was on a 6 mths probation period and I was dismissed from my job prematurely after the area manager deemed me "unsuitable" for the role.She reached this decision just two weeks after my first review with her.When I asked the manager to explain why she felt that I was "unsuitable" she stated that as I was on probation she need not give me further explanation.Can a manager do this?
M - 14-Mar-18 @ 4:04 PM
@Solo - you'll probably be on a probationary period for three-six months.
Liv - 14-Sep-17 @ 1:55 PM
Hi I've just started a cleaning job I'm on 6 month probabilityI don't have time to clean the toilets given to me but managing to cover everything else I'm a hard worker I've not been pulled up on any thing all positive feedback just no time to do the toilets I think they might be testing me Could the toilets jeopardise me been offerd the job?
Solo - 13-Sep-17 @ 9:18 PM
Shell - Your Question:
Hi I have just started work for care in community for altzimers and dementia. I am om probstion for 3 months. I have had some shadowing and did my first shift in morning. My next one is due. I have got myself in a right state feeling sick. Crying not sleeping. I dont feel this is right for me. As I originally thought. And talking to them tomorrow. I phoned today in a right state. What I would like to no is if I left can I claim jibseekers. I already suffer with depression and fear this will get worse. Thank you in advance

Our Response:
Your eligibility for benefits will depend on your means and on the details of how your job ended. Your Jobcentre Plus can delay your Jobseeker's Allowance for up to 26 weeks if you've voluntarily quit without good reason. You would have to have left your job with ‘just cause’ in order to be able to claim. When you claim JSA, you will be asked to complete a form giving your reasons for leaving and you would also have to give examples of the the steps taken to find other employment. Also, you would have to give evidence of trying to resolve any issues you may have had by speaking to your line manager. All this will be taken into account when deciding whether to award you Jobseekers Allowance or not. Likewise the time in the job and the amount of National Insurance contributions you have made will also make a difference. You may wish to speak with the Turn2Us helpline here .
WorkingRights - 8-Aug-17 @ 11:01 AM
Hi i have just started work for care in community for altzimers and dementia. I am om probstion for 3 months. I have had some shadowing and did my first shift in morning. My next one is due. I have got myself in a right state feeling sick. Crying not sleeping. I dont feel this is right for me. As i originally thought. And talking to them tomorrow. I phoned today in a right state. What i would like to no is if i left can i claim jibseekers. I already suffer with depression and fear this will get worse. Thank you in advance
Shell - 6-Aug-17 @ 10:03 PM
I am a manager still inside the 6 month probationary period but have not had a meeting to say my 3 month probationary has been extended to 6 my main question is should any investigatory or disciplinary procedures within that 6 months be same as someone who has passed their 6 month probationary periodas a manager and previous manager union rep I know this company has clearly not followed the guidelines their staff handbook is vague to say the least or is it case they can do what they like because you have not yet passed the 6 month slot the 6 months is up next week I intend to leave the company anyway but just want to ensure I am treated correctly kind regards
daz - 29-Jul-17 @ 10:18 AM
@snowy - your current manager can only go on the information he/she has been given from coming to the role and take it from there. It sounds like your company is a bit disorganised, but if there has been some concerns of your approach to others, then I imagine your manager is acting in line with company policy. If there are potential issues, then they will want to keep abreast of them and you. Even if they are failing you, there's not much you can do as you wouldn't be able to claim unfair dismissal.
JillT - 17-Jul-17 @ 10:58 AM
I am on week 20 of probationary period. My line manager left during week 13. Since then I have had 4 different managers. No concerns raised during first 13 weeks. I have not had a formal probationary meetingthroughout my employment. yesterday I was informed my probation period was to be extended by 3 months.I was electronically invited to meet my manager, with the subject heading Manager meeting, no other information provided. Concerns raised regarding my approach toward others, yet no complaints have been formally raised. Neither have these persons spoken to me bout any issues, and neither has management encouraged to do so. It feels 1 sided. These past 7 weeks the 4 different managers have all said its not clear what my job role is in the company. Surely concerns should be raised, mediation offered to resolve any potential issues. if issues are present then coaching should be put into place. if no improvement, then a formal probationary review should recommend extension. I am currently in new employment in a role I have never done before. Are they failing me
snowy - 14-Jul-17 @ 9:44 PM
I work for a care company i feel i am getting bulled by 2 women soical workers in the place where i work there on my back all the timethey follow me i clean for the company in a care home for boys they email my boss saying i am not doing my job if i clean they go in and mess up the beds toilets floors ect they are making my life hell i am a single mother of 3 kids i have no surport from any one not even my boss i go in front of him this thursday for a disciplinaty hearing i am making myself thinking about it i dont no what to do please someone help me .
none - 11-Jul-17 @ 5:20 PM
hi. I have worked my 3 month probation period but this was extended to another 3 as there wasn't time to finish the meeting this didn't take place so as far as I'm aware I'm still on probation I've since then handed in my notice which was to terminate on 12th july, but because I was continually picked on by a member of staff I decided to leave early. they are now saying that they wont pay me. my question is even though I gave a months notice , as I was still in my probation period did I have to give a month?
frank - 24-Jun-17 @ 12:56 AM
Hello. I am classed as a disabled person as I have a physical disability which has deteriorated over the years.The disability is in my hips, legs, knees, feet and lower back.I have therefore been able to take a taxi to and from work for many years via Access to Work. On 18 April 2017, I started a new job in Old Trafford, Manchester and I have to travel from Cadishead in Manchester, which is quite a long way.I advised Access to Work and, to cut a long story short, it took them several weeks to agree to help with the fares to and from work.Therefore, for some days over the last month, I have had to pay a taxi company for my journeys and, when I could no longer afford this, I have had to suffer getting a train and tram to/from work.The tram and train journeys have mainly been from work.It was a long walk for me from where I was working on Brindley Road to Trafford Bar.I have checked online and I have found it is a 7 minute walk.However, due to my walking difficulties and having to use a walking stick, it would take me around 20 minutes plus - depending on how many times I had to stop due to the pain.It was all uphill which caused me further problems. My Team Leader was aware that I am disabled and I had often discussed with her where I was up to with Access to Work and how it was becomming more and more painful for me to walk to the tram station.Therefore, I told her that I had had to increase the medication that I have been prescribed.I take Tramadol, Naproxen for the pain and Fluoxetine for stress.I had to increase the Fluoxetine due to becoming very stressed about fighting against Access to Work.My doctor has advised me that stress can exacerbate any form of pain. I had been unable to sleep properly at night and, with the increase of my medication, I became very, very tired.However, I had gone to work and coped in the best way that I could. The company I was working for is a Facilities Management company and I have carried out the same type of work since around 2009 so I am used to it.My Team Leader didn't appear to have anyproblems with my work for the first couple of weeks.However, for the next two weeks she has found fault in almost everything that I was doing.Therefore, she decided to bring my probationary period forward to 11 May 2017, due to my "performance". I had already advised her that I didn't think the training that I had received had been very good and that I had been training myself when I had found some time.I also advised her about being forced to increase my medication and advised her why. I then went on to state that although the training hadn't been very good, I felt that the increase in the medication might have been slowing me down a little and that I now felt that I was suffering from physical and mental exhaustion.However, she told me that I had not declared that I was disabled to the company.I advised her that whenever I send my CV to a potential employer, I send my co
Ali - 28-May-17 @ 5:00 PM
Hi, I left a senior salaried role within 4 months of my 6 months probation. Beings as I've only undertaken 4 months and have not completed my probation am I entitled to receive the holiday pay I would have accrued. I calculate if I'm right I'm owed 6 days pay, am I right in the assumption I should be paid this money
Pagie - 15-May-17 @ 10:34 PM
I was in my probationary period and got to the 5th month ( to be precise) and my manager had put lots of improvement areas . Previous 5 one to ones had notes stating i was progressing and no improvement arears. ( Bearing in mind the company had also sold a part of their business within the same month) . I tried to discuss the comments around the improvement arears and that i had not had these noted previously or beem made aware i was not able to do my role so this was a shock to me. I have had no previous improvement plans to help me or support to help me pass my probationary. On my 5th month one to one i had 2.5 weeks to improve ( still no improvement plan or support provided) then they decided that they would not extend my probationary and ended my employment . I found the whole scenario unreal and wrong as most of the managers comments were not true. Is there anything i can do about this as i feel if i havent been made aware within the last 5 months that i was underperforming then this is not a fair process . If anyone has any ideas , Solicitors etc who may be able to help me as soon as the sale went through this happened.
Keelo - 21-Apr-17 @ 7:50 PM
Hey! I started my job in summer time and was given a three month probation period (everyone has to do it) for various reasons this was extended a further three months and meant to be reviewed on 2nd Feb it is now 20th Feb and I've still not had this meeting. I've mentioned to my manager and team senior that ive noticed it's over due and still nothing. Today I am having to phone in sick and absolutely panicking due to part of the terms in my probation extension being no sick days! Can they dismiss me for this when the meeting is over due?
S - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:35 AM
Hi- my question refers to me having taken up s role within a company. I was employed by the company and the period I was there I wasn't told what they expected from me within my role and was left to ask separate individuals on what they themselves wanted me to cover. In week 4 an incident happened between 2 of my team members which I dealt with in an appropriate manner that I thought was right but this then went to the previous in charge of my role through the grapevine who then told me I should have taken a more strict approach and issued warnings. But I was told to watch out for this and make sure it doesn't happen again which I did. But within 3 days of that meeting I was taken in on the end of the shift and handed in a letter and told not to return to work. The letter was handed over to me by the supervisor with no presence of any HR member or senior manager it was just 2 of us. As I said I was only with the company for 4 weeks. Can they do this? Surely I should have given a job description? Should there not be a formal meeting to discuss my performance and given a timescale to rectify any issues and not just warned and then paid off a few days later with no representation.
Lucky - 7-Feb-17 @ 7:37 PM
Lucky - Your Question:
Hi- my question refers to me having taken up s role within a company. I was employed by the company and the period I was there I wasn't told what they expected from me within my role and was left to ask separate individuals on what they themselves wanted me to cover. In week 4 an incident happened between 2 of my team members which I dealt with in an appropriate manner that I thought was right but this then went to the previous in charge of my role through the grapevine who then told me I should have taken a more strict approach and issued warnings. But I was told to watch out for this and make sure it doesn't happen again which I did. But within 3 days of that meeting I was taken in on the end of the shift and handed in a letter and told not to return to work. The letter was handed over to me by the supervisor with no presence of any HR member or senior manager it was just 2 of us. As I said I was only with the company for 4 weeks. Can they do this? Surely I should have given a job description? Should there not be a formal meeting to discuss my performance and given a timescale to rectify any issues and not just warned and then paid off a few days later with no representation.

Our Response:
Did you not have a job description when you began your employment? Much depends upon the type of job you were doing (which you don't say). It may be that your employer expected you to naturally know more about the role, than you did. We would hope a company would be professional enough to make sure such any dismissal process was fair and transparent. However, this is not always the case and due to the short period you have been in the employment, unfortunately you have no recourse to complain.
WorkingRights - 7-Feb-17 @ 10:17 AM
Hi- my question refers to me having taken up s role within a company. I was employed by the company and the period I was there I wasn't told what they expected from me within my role and was left to ask separate individuals on what they themselves wanted me to cover. In week 4 an incident happened between 2 of my team members which I dealt with in an appropriate manner that I thought was right but this then went to the previous in charge of my role through the grapevine who then told me I should have taken a more strict approach and issued warnings. But I was told to watch out for this and make sure it doesn't happen again which I did. But within 3 days of that meeting I was taken in on the end of the shift and handed in a letter and told not to return to work. The letter was handed over to me by the supervisor with no presence of any HR member or senior manager it was just 2 of us. As I said I was only with the company for 4 weeks. Can they do this? Surely I should have given a job description? Should there not be a formal meeting to discuss my performance and given a timescale to rectify any issues and not just warned and then paid off a few days later with no representation.
Lucky - 6-Feb-17 @ 12:33 AM
My friend went into work yesterday and was called into managers office and told he was fired but was given no reason.He called the HO and was told he was on a 2 year probation period and as he'd only been there 6 months he had no rights.Is there anything he can do as it seems so unfair? He hadn't done anything wrong - he worked 9 hour days for 16 days straight over Xmas & New Years as well without complaint or issues.
cathyvdw - 19-Jan-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi I am employed by a training provider and we just "heard" that they are changing our holidays, when I started they said we could have holiday as and when we want obviously within reason and correct procedure for booking holiday, we have now heard that we will be given set holiday, no consultation. Are they allowed to do this without talking to staff first? Thank you Jo
Jo - 6-Jan-17 @ 10:47 AM
I have been employed since 15th August 2016. my probation period would have ended on 15th November 2016 however nothing was ever brought up or mentioned. It is now 4th January 2017 and they have mentioned my performance levels were low which I disagree as there are two other people doing the same job with the same results. They have offered to demote me which I am refusing. Does my employment become permanent once i reached the probation end even though there was no discussion?
sonia - 4-Jan-17 @ 5:07 PM
Ian - Your Question:
My son has been working for a firm for 2 months and has a 3 month probation. They have never issued a written contact although he has asked for one. This morning he dislocated his shoulder at work. While at the hospital, his boss has called him and told him not to come back, he is no longer needed. Prior to this he was doing well. Appreciate he has very limited rights while on probabtion but this seems not to be a performance issue. What can he do?

Our Response:
I'm afraid there are very few rights an employer has when on probation, regardless of the reason for dismissal.
WorkingRights - 12-Oct-16 @ 11:07 AM
My son has been working for a firm for 2 months and has a 3 month probation.They have never issued a written contact although he has asked for one.This morning he dislocated his shoulder at work.While at the hospital, his boss has called him and told him not to come back, he is no longer needed.Prior to this he was doing well.Appreciate he has very limited rights while on probabtion but this seems not to be a performance issue.What can he do?
Ian - 11-Oct-16 @ 12:51 PM
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