In a workplace setting, probation or the probationary period is a status accorded to new employees or employees taking on new responsibilities. This period allows an organisation’s leadership team to evaluate the employees’ suitability, not only for the role but for the organisation as well.
Previously, the existence and duration of this period were left to the employer’s discretion. The Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019 now provides guidelines for this period.
What the Code says about Probation
- The employee can be employed for a probationary period not exceeding 3 months to determine the suitability of the engagement. This period can be extended for a further period not exceeding 3 months.
- Before the end of the probationary period, an employee should be assessed, and the result should be communicated to the employee before the end of the probationary period in writing. Where the employer does not notify the employee, the employee shall be confirmed in the position from the date of the expiry of the probation period.
- In an instance where either the employer or employee wishes to terminate the employment relationship, at least 24 hours notice should be given. Although, the employer should abide by the guidelines set up for terminating an employee.
- An employee who was not terminated for performance-related reasons when re-employed by the same employer for the same role shall not be subject to probation within a period of two years.
For more on the Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019, check out Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4, and look out for more over the next 4 days.