Probation – DO’s and DON’T’s every Employer should be aware of…
It has become more and more stressful when it comes to employing new employees. You are always faced with the uncertainty of, whether or not, the new employee is the correct person for the job and if said employee will meet the required standards.
An effective tool the employer can implement is placing the new employee on a probation period where the newly appointed employee’s performance can be monitored.
It thus goes without question that probation is only related to performance, and performance-related issues alone.
Probation often gets misused or misunderstood by employers. The first and most probably biggest mistake the employer can make is using probation as a reason to ‘dismiss’ an employee for a misconduct related offence.
An example of this is an employee sleeping on duty, whilst still under probation, and the employer decides to dismiss the employee for the misconduct without adhering to any procedure. Thus, when an employee needs to be reprimanded for misconduct, the said employee must be treated as a permanent employee. Labour law and the employee’s rights will still apply to an employee under probation.
How to implement Probation correctly?
The Labour Relations Act, Schedule 8: Code of Good Practice Subsection 8 (1), provides the answer to this question. In short, this section states that the employer has the right to place an employee on a probationary period. The duration of the period must be determined in advance and should be reasonable. During this period, the employee should be provided with reasonable evaluation, instruction, training, guidance and / or counselling in order for the employee to render satisfactory results.
The section furthermore states that the period may, either be extended or the employee dismissed, after the employer has invited the employee to make representation (give reasons).
Implementing the above mentioned, and understanding the workings of probation, will allow you as an employer to make sure that the correct person is performing the job.
Need more assistance in this regard or need assistance with an employment contract with a proper probationary clause, do not hesitate to contact us on 0861 737 263.