Updated for 2013.

You’ve been offered a new job, but your new Employer has made you a conditional job offer that includes a probationary period for the first few months of your employment. What does that mean?

Probationary periods are often for the first 3 or 6 months of your new job and are used by your Employer to assess your performance and conduct during your early stages of employment, to make sure they are happy with your work.

However, probationary periods have no legal basis, so what do they actually mean? Here we give you the basic facts:

  • Your Employment starts from your original start date, not from the date at the end of your probationary period (when you are ‘confirmed’ in the job).
  • This means that your length of service, which is essential in determining your eligibility for statutory employment rights, starts from your original start date and is not affected by the probationary period.

If your Employer is not satisfied with your performance or conduct during your probationary period:

  • They may have the option to extend the probationary period if this is written into your contract (but again this does not affect your original start date) or

Your Employer can dismiss you legally if they are unhappy with your performance or conduct if:

  • They follow correct disciplinary procedures (your Employer may also have a separate probationary period policy which outlines their procedures to end your employment) and
  • However, your Employer does not have to wait until the end of your probationary period to dismiss you.

If your Employer does not follow a disciplinary procedure to dismiss you, and your Employers disciplinary procedure is contractual, then they may be in breach of contract.

If you believe that your dismissal is unfair and you have 2 years service with your Employer (from your original start date, not from the end of your probationary period) you can bring a claim for unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal. You can bring a claim for discrimination to an Employment Tribunal at any point in your employment, from day 1, you do not need to have 2 years service if you believe you have been discriminated against.

An important Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in 2007 (Przybylska v Modus Telecom Limited) found that where there is an express contractual right for the Employer to extend (or not) the probationary period, within the initial probationary period timescale, and the Employer does not do this they lose their right to extend the probation.  Therefore, the probationary period is completed by ‘default’ and the employee is therefore entitled to the notice periods that apply after the probationary period (which are usually longer than those during the probationary period).

The brief details of the case are:  Miss Przybylska was employed on a 3 month probationary basis from 3 October 2005.  During this probation her employment could be terminated with a week’s notice and Modus reserved the right to extend the probationary period.  Miss Przybylska was on holiday when her probationary period expired on 2nd January 2006 and Modus had not extended her probationary period when her holiday began.  At the end of January 2006 she was dismissed with one weeks’s pay in lieu of notice.

She complained of breach of contract to the Employment Tribunal (she said she should have been paid 3 months notice after completion of her probationary period).  The ET said it was reasonable for the probationary period to continue until she had received an indication of whether she had successfully completed it or not.  The EAT disagreed, saying that the assessment should have taken place during the probationary period and Modus should have foreseen she would have been on holiday at its end; they could have extended the probationary period if they had not been able to complete her assessment before the holiday.  The EAT felt it was not necessary to imply a term which automatically extended the probationary period.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

  • christopher

    What is the point of probationary periods when you have done the job before

    • Hi Christopher, any Employer has the right to use them (properly) to ascertain whether someone is suitable for the job. Regards, Lesley

  • christopher

    Its just in a different place

  • Graeme

    I had a 6 month probation extended but didn’t have the meeting till well into 7 months, it was extended for 6 weeks, that was 2 months ago and have now had no new review, does this mean I should be on a full contract by default?

    • Hi Graeme, you can read about a case above on this subject – basically if it is written in your contract that your Employer can extend (or not) the probationary period, within the initial
      probationary period timescale, and the Employer does not do this they
      lose their right to extend the probation; so therefore your probationary period should be over and you are employed by default. Regards, Lesley, The HRkiosk

      • Ian

        Hi Lesley. Im my case, my employer has stated that ‘during the probationary period and a reasonable period immediately following it ( if the Company has not concluded its review of your continued employment at the time the probationary period ends)
        So is this allowed? and if so, what time would be classed as reasonable? I have been given a review date but it will be 8 months after I started with them ( they gave me a 6 month probationary period of which I have had no reviews in that time)

        • Hi Ian, thanks for your message. It’s a bizarre way of wording it, but it’s probably acceptable. Reasonable is undefined but I doubt it should be more than a month or two. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

          • Ian

            Thanks for your help – It’s much appreciated .

  • Graeme

    Just to add the reasons for extension were questionable to say the least.

  • Nik Holt

    I have a 4 week probation for my new job and unfortunately I got really bad tonsillitis on the first day of my second week and couldn’t go into work and my boss has told me he hasn’t got room for me anymore because he thinks I’m lying and he may fire me. If he does fire me, does he have to pay me for the world I did last week?

    • Hi Nik, thanks for your message. Yes he has to pay you for all the work you have done, he can’t not do this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Chris

    Hi I have just been dismissed at the end of my extended probation period and in my opinion unfairly as I know it is due to company circumstances rather my performance. However in any case I was not informed that my 6 months probation was being extended until 4 weeks after the original 6 months had ended, they then extended by 3 months and then informed me on 17th Dec that they were ending my employment due to unsuccessful probation with no reason given and no HR presence just my line manager I have been given no letter and he bought I would b happy they would give me a months pay provided I “didn’t make any noise” I should have 3 months notice under my contract if I have completed my probation. Am i correct in assuming that I can view my probation as complete due to late notification of extension and that it should have been a maximum 2 months extension?

    Can I also assume they have Breached my contrac as have never had a disciplinary procedure nor HR presence at the meeting my manager said he felt it was better not to have HR presence.



  • Charles Robertson

    I had successfully completed 4 months of my 6 month probationary period as a contractor [not an employee], when my contract was terminated without notice. My contract stated that I would be working remotely [at home] for the entire length [6 months] of my probationary period.

    I was told that the reason for my contract ending, was because the company wanted only to use in-house employees from that point onwards. So, my contract was not terminated because I was in any way incompetent. I have e-mails from the employer to prove this, and of course, a signed contract stating the points outlined above.

    The employer never carried out any probationary assessments during the time I was working for this company. But, at no point, was I told that my work was sub standard. I was always punctual and engaging during our daily morning meeting, and I was never cited for misconduct.

    The project I was working on, was completed successfully.

    Do you think that I am legally entitled to claim for the 40 days of paid work that was still outstanding on my contract?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Charles, thanks for your message. This is going to depend entirely how your contract is worded, but I expect it’s unlikely you could make that claim. You need to read the termination clauses in your contract and see what they say. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Charles Robertson

        Thanks Lesley for your reply. Here is my contract:

        Dear Charles,

        Further to our
        recent meeting, I am pleased to offer you the position of Senior Developer,
        reporting directly to Debbie Vincent.
        Location for employment will be home based but you will need to attend planning
        and technical meetings at our offices at 6, The Forum, Icknield Way, Tring,
        HP23 4JY 1 day every 2 weeks. Start date to be the w/c `12th July


        We agreed that
        we would take a 6 month probation period based on a Salary of £200 per day.

        After the period of 6 months we
        would be delighted to consider a full time position should you wish. This would
        offer you additional benefits of a salary in the range of £50,000/annum along
        with pension, private health, 30 days paid holiday (22 days plus 8 public
        holidays) and flexible working hours to be agreed.

        We are delighted
        to offer the opportunity to join SportFocus and look forward to welcoming you
        to the company and enjoying a long career with us. Please sign both copies of this offer
        letter, retaining one copy for you and return the other to me.

        • Are there no termination clauses in the contract? I do have to say you might want to delete this detail from here as obviously it’s a public site? Regards, Lesley

          • Charles Robertson

            Thanks again Lesley. I very much appreciate your help.

            There are no terminations clauses in the contract. The reasons cited for termination are:

            1) no more work available
            2) no more budget available
            3) technical developers cannot work remotely anymore

            My contract clearly states that I am entitled to work remotely for the duration of my contract.

            Strangely, the company employed 2 new developers soon after my termination.

            I will delete my previous post, but to be honest, there are no details in it, that are sensitive. No phone numbers etc…

          • Hi Charles, there is probably nothing you can do I’m afraid. You might want to get a lawyer to look over the contract though, to see if there may be a claim for the payment for the work you have not completed. Good luck. Lesley

          • Charles Robertson

            Thanks Lesley for your reply. Yes, I was hoping that I could get the employer to pay for the remaining period of my contract [2 months]. I was advised, by a solicitor, that it would come under ‘wrongful dismissal’ for breach of contract. The main problem is that I was unaware that my contract had been terminated for at least 2 months. If I had been aware, I could have started looking for work with a new employer, at the end of November 2015. Instead, it took them nearly 2 months, to admit that my contract had actually been terminated on November 20th 2015. I also figure that they might be guilty of discriminating between remote contractors & in-house employees. Their employment strategy changed whilst my contract was still in progress.
            One of the reasons they gave for the termination, was that they only wanted to employ in-house developers. My contract explicitly states that I was entitled to work from home for the entire 6 month contract period. There seem to be multiple failures here on the part my employer. The question is, was my employer just acting unethically or was it acting unlawfully?

  • charlotte

    Would you use a probabtion period for a member of staff employed over two years who is offered a promotion to a new role?

    • Hi Charlotte, you could, but it may be pointless because if you were not happy with their performance then you’d be looking at a dismissal and they’d have enough service to make a claim for unfair dismissal. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • BrownTrousers

    My partner has just been dismissed after completing a 3 month probationary period.

    The reason given is they believe her performance isn’t good enough because she is distracted by the stress of a legal case she is currently involved in. Her last review a month ago was a good one. They have suggested she reapply for the job in six months time. Should she have been given a warning that her performance wasn’t of a high enough standard before this review?

    • Hi BT, thanks for your message. Yes she should have been given a warning, but I’m afraid there is little she can do about this, apart from appealing the dismissal, which she may want to do. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Tony Mark

    My probation that was meant to be the 31st December finally happened on the 20th January-about three weeks late.
    My direct supervisor has passed me on everything but another supervisor claimed he was told by a colleague that i was not willing to learn when i worked with them at another site and as a result was extending my probation by another three(3) months.
    Now my questions are:
    (1) Was he right to have acted based on the information my colleague gave in a sensitive matter like this?
    (2) How sure is he about what he was told?
    (3) My direct supervisor with whom i have worked over the past three months is happy with my performance and does not have any issues with passing me straightaway.
    (4) Over the two days i worked at that site, nothing happened as I was given tasks which i completed without complaints from any quarter.

    I am trying to understand the possibility of taking colleagues verbal judgments into account without evidence and/or reasons to do so.

    • Hi Tony, could you ask your direct supervisor to talk to the other supervisor. They should take more than one person’s information into account in this situation, but each company will have their own ‘standards’ that need to be met. good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Mandy Feakes

    My daughter was dismissed from work, her first job. she worked as bank staff for 3 months then she was taken on as full time member with a six month probationary period. She thought the probationary period ended six months from the original contract and when she asked her manager she was verbally told she had successfully completed it. Only to be told a month later that in fact it ended six months after the second contract started. At this time, six months after her second contract started, her manager raised some concerns about some aspects of her progress, so extended the period for three months. During this period no one discussed with her, her performance or raised any concerns so she thought she was improving. Out of the blue her contract was terminated. My concern is that if her performance was not improving someone should have been discussing this. Can she appeal this dismissal? Because she was dismissed within the probation period the normal disciplinary procedures were not followed therefore not giving her a chance to further improve. She worked for this employer for one year and 3 weeks and was escorted off the premises. She worked hard and was committed and loyal member of staff, does she have any rights to appeal this?

    • Hi Mandy, thanks for your message. Some form of disciplinary procedure should be followed during a probationary period, and she should have been told if there were concerns about her performance. She does have a right of appeal against her dismissal and she should do this. Unfortunately, apart from appealing, there is little else she can do, as she does not have unfair dismissal rights until she has been there 2 years. Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Mandy Feakes

        Lesley thank you for your comments and advice which have been very useful. If you do not mind I have a couple more questions. Her contract actually started on 2nd April 2015 she was not informed by her manager that the probationary period was to be extended until a meeting on 22nd October, three weeks later. I understand from information below that at this point she is employed by default and should receive a full four weeks notice and not the one week she did receive. Although she was not employed for the statutory two years and cannot claim unfair dismissal does she have a legal right to be paid the correct amount and if her employer doesnt pa, what rights does she have?

        • Hi Mandy, she should say this at her Appeal; it’s likely that her Employer will argue against this, but it is worth asking for the correct notice as she presumed she had been made permanent. Regards, Lesley

  • Martin

    I have just been dismissed this week from a Global role after 3 weeks of my probationary period with the reason cited as a company restructure. I left a my old company in mid December and started my new role the beginning of January. At my old company I had senior management role and had very well paid position and after 8 months of negotiation on this new role for the new company. On my termination interview with the HR Director who was 2 weeks in to her new position stated that she knew about my position being at risk the first day I met her on day 7 of my employment. The company has given me 1 weeks notice and no compensation what so ever. All communication with my last company has completely stopped and I cant even to get them to acknowledge mails, incurred expenses or a payslip.
    As you can imagine this is not a great start to the year for me, after being promised stock options with the view that the company would be sold in 2-3 years and a nice contribution to my pension pot. I understand that my rights during my probationary period are limited and from what I have read I cant see great recourse form me to try and address this. I would if I understood that that there is a good chance of winning a “reasonable” claim, but as you can imagine I need to try and spread whatever savings I have to try an secure something new.
    Any advice would be appreciated

    • Hi Martin, do you have anything in writing about promised stock options etc etc…… as you may be able to make a claim for breach of contract, especially if you can find out when the company actually realised they would be doing this (if you can find out they were considering this before you started that would help your claim). It might be worth phoning Acas to see if they think you may have a claim of any description. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Martin

        thanks Lesley

  • Ray

    Hi, I have been workin with the same company for 17 years since i left school and started as an apprentice with the usual 6 weeks trial period and i was promoted to the deputy heads position after 4 years with no probation period and now i have been offered the head greenkeepers job due to him retiring at the end of next month and have been told i would have to serve a 6 months probation period from the beginning of March without full pay for this position until after the 6 months and i feel this is a bit unfair as i have been deputy head for past 13 years and i am obviously competent in role of head as i have covered this position when head greenkeeper has been on holiday or of sick in past 13 years without any problems or complaints. I was just wundering if you think this is right or if there is any advice you could give me to try and reduce this probation period? as i have had nothing in writting or new contract yet

    • Hi Ray, thanks for your message. This does sound unfair, but there is nothing to stop a Company requiring a probationary period when promoting. However, if your probationary period was not successful then you could have an unfair dismissal claim. Can you talk to them to explain your reservations about this and find out why they think this is necessary? And see if they will agree to a shorter period? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • alan

    So just to be clear – employers cannot officially extend probation after the original probation time has passed? I have a situation where my period expired, but I had no review/assessment at any point in this period and received no official notification I had passed probation. Then a month after the original period ended I received notification that my probation was being extended. Thanks

    • Hi Alan, if it is written into your contract that your Employer can extend your probationary period, and they do not confirm they are doing this, then yes the Courts found that the probationary had been ‘passed’ automatically. Unfortunately, I don’t think many Employers are aware of this! You might want to bring it to their attention? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • alan

        Thanks so much 🙂

  • Lucy

    Hello Lesley, I have a question I have been working for 5 months in this company, the probation period in my contract is 3 months,after 3 months work my probation period was extended for 1 month the reason they gave me to extended my probation was my performance wasn’t good enough (that i totally disagree) and then after another month they extend again for another month, in my contract theres nothing about probation extension the only thing it’s says 3 months probation period.Also they dont allow me to take Holidays saying that i am in my probation period and Im a unreliable employee because I asked one day off in December ,Has the company the right to extend my probation without it be written in my contract ???

    • Hi Lucy, your Employer does not have the right to extend your probationary period without this being specified in your contract. However, there is probably not much you can do about this in reality, if they are not happy with your performance anyway, as that may just aggrevate the situation (you could put in a grievance, but I’m not sure how this would realistically help you). Your Employer can though, not allow you take holiday in your probationary period (you accrue them during this period but they can require you not to take them in that period). Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Sarah Lloyd

    Hi Lesley, I have a situation where a manager has confirmed someone is successful in there probation before their actual probation date of 6 months (one month early). There is no issue with the employee but in terms of paper confirmation
    to that individual does anything need to be referenced about that? To elaborate further – in their contract we make reference that after 6 months and being successful in their probation period they are entitled to company sick pay and company car. As they a one month short of this date is there anything I should be concerned about?

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your message. If they are ‘succesful’ early then I would say that they are then a permanent employee with permanent employee benefits, and you should write to them to confirm that. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, the HR Kiosk

  • Leslie

    Hi Lesley. I started a job 9 months ago with a 6 month probationary period. I quickly found out there has been a huge turnover in this position (I am a PA) and after my 6 months, my probation was extended for another 3 months. It says in my contract that the company reserve the right to extend my probation. I work for two MDs, one of which I do much more work for. I had a meeting with both them in which the reasons given were very minor and quite incomprehensible but obviously I had to accept it. I never received an official letter from HR, this all happened verbally. My extended probationary period should have ended at the end of February but I reminded both of my bosses separately a few days ago that this was the case. When I spoke to my English boss, he said he was bety happy with me. When I spoke to my French boss, which I do most of the work for he said it would be difficult to make me permanent. I asked for reasons and he didn’t know what to say and invented reasons for things I hadn’t done and I have evidence HE did this knowingly. Then he finally said ‘maybe we just don’t get on. Maybe we clash ‘ so he admitted it had nothing to do with my performance. He also said my English boss complained of the same thing but I told him we’d just spoken and he is happy with me. I’m not sure if he is lying or if my English boss decided not to stick up for me as I do mist of my wotk for my French boss (I’ve been told he’s not stick up for people in the past in the same position). Sorry for the long mesage, but what rights do I have if I think I’ve been unfairly dismissed? I’ve been told informally I can stay until the end if the month (when I’m probationary period my contract says I have one week’s notice)?I believe they have said two because they know what they are doing is unfair. My French boss has a reputation for being disliked by everyone. I’m trying to ask to stay 3 weeks to have more time to look for a job and have offered in exchange to do a handover with a temp. My name is Leslie too!

    • Hi Leslie, thanks for your message. I’m afraid you have no rights to unfair dismissal as you been there under 2 years, unless you believe you are being sacked for an ‘automatically’ unfair reason – details are here https://www.crunch.co.uk/blog/small-business-advice/2008/09/24/how-your-employment-can-come-to-an-end-for-employees/

      If they will give you more than 1 week’s notice then I’m afraid that is good; you can ask for more time but they don’t need to do that. They may be in breach of your contract if you have a contractual disciplinary policy which they are no following to end your probationary period, but there is not much you can realistically do about that I’m afraid.

      Sorry I dont’ have anything more positive to advise. Good luck in looking for a new job. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Leslie

    Sorry for the typos in my previous message Lesley.

  • sean brown

    Hi i was appointed as an assistan manager with 9 months probation after 4 months i was told it was not working out after no letters of concern or reviews to raise any issues they had with me.I worked 9-11 hour days some days with no break,i was never told they were not happy with me at any time and asked on numerous occasions to have more training in cashing up and banking to no avail the area manager told me not to worry as new training programes were coming up . i injured my back at work and was booked off for 3 weeks just to summoned to work and told they no longer need m as it was not working out.MY manager i worked with could not believe that they had ende my employment as i say not once was i told by any body i was doing any thing wrong in the whole time i was there.

    • Hi Sean, thanks for your message. Yes your employer should warn you if they felt there were issues with your work. However, I’m afraid there is really not much you can do about this, as if you have been working there under 2 years you have no right to claim unfair dismissal. You do have a right of appeal against their decision, so i would do this, as you can use the appeal to explain you weren’t ever informed of any issues. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Pete D

    Hi, My case is a bit complicated. My probation period ran out on the 27th Jan 2016, approx. 1 week before that we had the formal chat with HR and they terminated my employment for performance reasons, go figure. All seems textbook, but, my contract specifically states that termination can only be conducted in writing by the company and I have received a termination letter stating that my termination date is the 4th Feb 2016, can I now claim 3 months notice? P.S my contract also stated that they can extend the probationary period and they did not.
    Thanks Pete

    • Hi Pete, thanks for your message. If the letter is dated after the end of your probationary period then yes you should be able to ask them for the notice you are due after the probationary period. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Josh Hunting

    Hi Lesley, how are you?

    I’m on my probation period at the moment that started as a 3 months period but it was extended a further month (making a total of 4 months). I joined this company according to my professional skills that were agreed on a series of interviews, but after joining the company my current manager asked me to perform some works that I don’t have the skill to deliver and was never agreed on first place. Because of that I had my probation period extended with the ask that I should perform the skills I do nos possess and did not agree in the beginning.

    But, during my time in the company so far I’ve been helping with my skills to deliver good work that even my manager’s manager (the CEO) congratulated me on with other people from the company. But the only person that does not seems to be impressed is my current manager. And in the end, the way my company structure is the final decision will be from my manager.

    Just so you know, there is a big need to perform my kind of skill within the company. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 months.

    In summary: I’ve been doing the work I agreed on doing since the interviews. I’ve been exceeding the expectations delivering high quality work to several part of the business that even the CEO recognised but my manager is not impressed by it stating that now he needs me to also deliver work that I’m not skilled to do.

    My question is: If after my probation period ends and I’ve been let go, is there anything legally that I could do because of the fact that I’ve been providing the work I’ve been asked to do and also been documented praised by many other work colleagues apart from my direct manager? And just to add, as a suggestion of the HR I’ve asked for about 10 colleagues that I worked directly to provide feedback of my work to my manager. And all the feedback is very positive but still does not seem to make much of a diference for my manager that only talks about the lacking of needed skill that he now wants me to provide.

    Thanks in advance and apologies for any misspelling from my behalf.


    • Hi Josh, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there won’t be anything you can do about this if your employment is ended, as you need to be there 2 years to make an unfair dismissal claim. Clearly you have already spoken to HR, so I wonder if it would be worth speaking to them again, as obviously they are aware of the rather odd situation. However, if they end your employment you do have a right of appeal, which should be heard by someone more senior who did not make the decision (i.e not your manager), so at that point you can raise all the points you have made above. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Romain de Courcy


    A few days before the end of my 3-month probation period, I am given notice I am being let go for financial reasons, ie the company cannot afford to keep me even though nothing’s wrong with my performance. I assume this is therefore a redundancy and not an actual dismissal. The thing is, they are taking an intern starting the very next day after my probation ends and that intern will have the same position/title as me. Is this right? I read somewhere that in the case of a redundancy a company cannot employ another person for the same position.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Romain, thanks for your message. This may well be a redundancy situation, and if it is then they shouldn’t employ another person doing the same job. However, this is not really going to help your situation – you have been dismissed whether you have been made redundant or not, and there is nothing you can do about this, i.e. make a claim for unfair dismissal if you have under 2 years employment with them I’m afraid. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Anom

    Hi – I have recently had my probation period extended from 3 months to 4 months – and they are now stating it is being reviewed on a weekly basis. They have not given me an end date – should they give me an end date?
    I also consider that I am the only one in the department having my cases audited and they seem to be picking up on every little thing, despite others (from me talking to other staff members) who work in the same way but they have not been pulled up. Could I allege discrimination ? Who should I raise it with – HR or the manager? Thankyou

  • Kevsback

    Hi – I left my job today after a series of events I believe I can claim to be discriminatory. I was employed on a 6 month probationary period, on interview I made my manager aware of my disability (fibromyalgia) and this was not deemed to be a problem. Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with COPD and informed my manager, who made no comment at all (which I was very surprised about). Since then she seems to have been ‘nit-picking’ at anything she can find, many of these contradicted the instructions I had been given earlier. I had a review last week and was informed that she did not believe I was as ‘far on’ as she would have hoped, and was not performing to the same standards as a member of staff who has worked for the company for two years. During this review I asked if my new diagnosis would impact on my employment, and she asked “do you need to be at work?” Today I found out that my manager has advertised for another member of staff to perform the same job as I am doing. I asked her if my employment was in jeopardy, and was told ‘not at the moment’ but that my probationary period would likely be extended and that if sufficient improvement was not seen then… My manager did not have any issues with my work (and did not voice any issues) until I informed her of my COPD. Do I have a case for unfair discrimination?

    • Hi, you should call Acas to discuss this with them, as if you decide to take a discrimination case to Tribunal you would need to go through Acas first. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Too_Much

    Hi, I’ve just been told that I didn’t pass my probationary period due to my demanding attitude towards another manager which is rubbish as I merely just made a suggestion. They also claiming that the shop I ran wasn’t making enough money. I’ve been there 4 months and was dumped in a run down shop to which they knew it was run down and would take time to build back up, they since implemented a new promotion within the last 2 weeks and expect things to pick up immediately which it hasn’t as the town has become a ghost town. I’ve even asked other shop managers and they all say the same that its so quiet. Do they have reasonable grounds to dismiss me?

    • Hi, if your employer reasonably believed you weren’t performing your job well/meeting objectives etc etc (any criteria laid down) then this may be a reasonable reason to dismiss you. You do have a right to appeal their decision, which you may want to do? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Modi

    hi my contract started last year on 14 of Dec 2015 with a probation period of 3 months the probation period ends on 13 of march which was Sunday , on 14 march my manager called me and said they want to extend my probation period . the contract say “upon satisfactory completion of probation of 3 months, your appointment will be automatically confirmed”. can they extend my probation after the completion date ?

    • hi Modi, they would need a contractual right (in your contract) to extend the period, but this should be done before the initial 3 month period is up. Have they explained to you why they want to extend it? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • KMan

    Hello, I was given a ‘promotion’ to office supervisor last year March from another position in the company. I was given a 3 month probabtionary period for this new role. I never heard anything further after this, until recently when I had another ‘appraisal’ with my boss, and a few days later received a letter stating that I have been put on another 3 month probation. Can they do this after I have been in the same position for more than a year? I have been with the company for 2 years and 9 months. I would appreciate it if you could advise what my rights are, and could you tell me what the notice period would be from both sides? Thank you.

    • Hi Kman, thanks for your message. If they did not confirm or extend your original probationary period then they should not be extending it now. It is pointless on their part, as you have been there for over 2 years, so you would have rights to claim unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal, whether they ended your employment if you were ‘in’ a probationary period or not. The notice period will be whatever is in your contract of employment, or the statutory minimum if you haven’t been told the notice periods (details are here – https://www.crunch.co.uk/blog/small-business-advice/2008/09/24/written-statements-and-contracts/ )
      Good luck. Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Mj

    Hi Lesley, I was dismissed today on the day of my 6 mix probation mainly because we all have a feeling our manager is behind it and not our supervisor as she dismisses females with a certain race/religious clothing 4 within the last 3 months but the only boy to be dismissed had all 3 warnings plus extra time to get his act together before he was actually dismissed, but the girls no actual warning but anyways. I have had a very good relationship with my supervisor who had tons be countless times even day before my probation I would not dismiss any of you as your all performing I may extend it by a month if anything. So to my surprise I was told after 6 entire months that on that very morning a had a bad reference come back then was questioned about my conduct. Ie wickedness in the 6 months which I was given a 1st warning for but when I had another instance and had a meeting was given no further action as my supervisor did not feel any sicknesses should have a warning and even advised me if I do get I’ll take the time of I need in order to get back to better health instead of in then taking another day etc off. please could you shed some light as this makes no sense. Also my previous does not own the place anymore and cannot be contacted so I’m not sure who they even took the reference off as the new ownership which I have not even worked for, I have refused to come back to work for them which may mean if they spoke to them she may have given me a negative reference just for that. Please let me know if I have any rights on this situation. As I am baffled by turn of events.

    • Hi MJ, thanks for your message. If you think there are discrimination issues here on your manager’s part then you could ring Acas to discuss this with them, with a view to taking a case to Tribunal on discrimination grounds. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • DSG1986

    Hi Lesley,

    I was dismissed from my probation period last Friday – 5 months and 1 week into the 6 months further to an appraisal at 3 months when he advised he was very happy and a text confirming I’d successfully completed 3 months.

    First of all the meeting to discuss it was called an “update meeting” when booked by text two days prior leaving me no oppurtunity to prepare or bring anyone in with me in direct breach of the guidelines provided to me in my staff handbook.
    Secondly the grounds on which I was released was that I mentioned my employers private life to a customer in so much as the customer referred to him as work shy and lazy and I defended him by advising that he had business interests outside of the business in which I was employed and his family lived away so he visited them also. Does this constitute any breach from my side?
    Finally I received a letter the next day advising it was actually a ‘capability hearing’ in which further to the above he questioned my success completing tasks despite advising I had “far exceeded expectations professionally” in the meeting.

    Where do I stand on this? Naturally I can’t go back there but I’m not unemployed with a blemish on my CV and need some advice.

    Hope to hear from you,

    • Hi Dan, thanks for your message. Basically, I’m afraid that apart from appealing his decision there is little you can do about this as you cannot claim unfair dismissal as you have not been there 2 years. Clearly, he should have followed his procedures properly, but only if these procedures are contractual would he be in breach of contract for not following them. If you did not give away any confidential information to the customer then I can’t think you have done anything wrong, apart from the fact he did not like it. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • gitca

    Hi Lesley…I was fired after working for a month an a half. The reason why is because I ate at my desk the following day they immediately fired me without being given any notice .. I think the real reason behind if this is because my supervisor is having conflicts with other people in management and because of this she she’s am not in net side and she fired me .. While working there they never gave be a copy of my contract that I signed can I take them to court?

    • Hi Gitca, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there isn’t going to be anything you can do as you’ve not been there long enough. You should legally receive a written statement (contract) within 2 months of starting. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Bryony

    Hi wondering if you can help, I was dismissed from my job on Saturday after calling in sick two due to my daughter being hospitalised and myself being sick. They said I hadn’t followed the company procedures yet the first time they had no problem. Yet this time I hadn’t done the right thing, but the thing is I’ve never been told the company procedures for calling in sick. There is other issues that they sacked me on but there completely understandable but I just can’t get my head around this. Many thanks

    • Hi Bryony, you have a right of appeal against your dismissal so you may want to do that, pointing out that you had not been made of the correct procedures etc. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Kc

    Wondering if you can help me with a work situation.
    I’m 5 months into a 6 month probation period. About 6 weeks ago my line manager did a 1-2-1 meeting with me and basically slated my performance and everything I was doing. He said the team have been telling him lots of things that I’m apparently doing wrong on his days off and that I stand around and do nothing
    This is, of course, untrue. I work incredibly hard and have done lots of retraining with all the staff. One member of staff has been promoted out to another store under my guidance and the others who wanted my help are flourishing.
    However the other day a ridiculous ‘gross misconduct’ case was raised but when I slammed this down to lack of training, my objection was dismissed.
    So tomorrow I have a “formal end of probation meeting” which I have been told could end in termination of contract
    Tell me. Would I be best to hand my notice in now or sit it our and get fired? I think it’s completely unfair and so do most of the staff.

    • hi Kc, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t advise as to whether it’s best to resign now or be sacked, that has to be your decision based on your knowledge of the situation and how you prefer to deal with it; although I can see why resigning might be better for you. You will have a right of appeal against your dismissal but that may not get you anywhere and there is really nothing else you can do about it after that. Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Patricia Ogden

    Hay I started a new job 3 weeks ago at a cleaning company 12 and half hrs a week which works around child care and I have never been late, never had a complaint and I actually enjoyed the job I was doing girls I work with are great.. However I went in as usual and my work collague told me I have to be let go.. I asked her on what ground she said there is no reason I am probation… A new girl starts in 3 days… Where do I stand? I signed a contract

    • Hi Patricia, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there is little you can do about this – a probationary period gives your Employer no easier way to dismiss someone/end their employment but they should follow a procedure to do this. You have a right of appeal against your dismissal but other than that there will probably not be much you can do about this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Linda Almeda

    Hi. I was employed in a live in permanent post with a 6month probationary period. Durning the probationary period either party could terminate giving 1 months notice. (After 6months this increased to 2 months).
    5 months into the probationary period I decided that the job was not for me and because I knew that it would be difficult for my employer to replace my position quickly I gave 2 months notice in writing. I received confirmation of this notice stating my finish date from my employer
    2 weeks into my notice period I was called into a meeting. I was told that my contract was being terminated with immediate effect and that I should vacate the accommodation within 1 week. And that I would be paid in leiu for the remainder of my notice. They would however only pay me 1 months notice as that was all I was contracted to give.
    My question is. If they wanted to end my contract should they have given me 1 months notice from the date of the meeting or could they take it from the date of my resignation.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Linda, thanks for your message. As they gave you counter-notice I would of thought they should have given you 1 months notice from the date of the meeting; if you were still within your probationary period then that would be 1 month. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR KIosk

  • Ana

    Hi, I started a new job 2 months ago (I was previously working for the same company for 1 month as interim and they gave me the permanent role after this). I am in probationary period (6 months) and I have just found out that I am 6 weeks pregnant. Could I be dismissed for this reason? Should I tell my company? I feel quite bad keeping the secret but I am scared of the consequences…

  • Karen Fenwick

    Hello Lesley. My employer has extended my 6 month probationary period twice now. Their reasons have been challenged by me with documentation evidence to support my case. They however chose to terminate my contract giving unsuccessful completion of probationary period as a reason for dismissal. Nowhere in my contract of employment and specifically under the clause containing probationary period does it mention that an extension is permitted. Can I appeal the decision and claim wrongful dismissal for breach of contract?

    • Hi Karen, you should certainly appeal their decision and point it out to them they have no explicit right to extend the probation. It might be worth talking to Acas about a claim for breach of contract as it would cost you money to pursue with possibly little benefit to you at the end of it; but it would be worth talking to Acas about it. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Lou

    Hi, I am at the end of my 3 month probation, I’ve had a review after month one and two, I have been told they are very happy with my work!
    I was meant to pass probation this week and my line manager told me he was going to pass me however the night before my meeting the person who I’m PA to suddenly out of the blue told him she doesn’t think she can work with me anymore? However she has given no indication over my probation she is unhappy with my work etc and as I’m also a receptionist – they have been happy with my work. Where do I stand If they choose to terminate my contract? I have a meeting again after the weekend after my line manager takes in why she doesn’t want to work with me anymore as he is just as shocked by this sudden change. The previous meetings have been written down and states he is very happy with my progress.

    • Hi Lou, thanks for your message. Although this is unfair, I’m afraid there is really little you can do about this if they end your employment. You would have a right of appeal, when you can point out that this was the first you knew about her views. But you have no right to claim unfair dismissal as you haven’t been there long enough. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk