Be more informed about probation periods in South Africa
Does your new job have a probation period? A probation period allows employers to assess the performance of their staff before they hire them permanently. This period also gives employees a chance to decide whether the job is right for them or not before they sign a long-term contract. Read our blog post to gain a better understanding of what probation means in the corporate world.
What is a probation period?
In order to maintain an efficient and productive workplace, employers need to hire the right staff since employees play a vital role in the success of any business. A probation period refers to new staff members whose performance is being evaluated for a specified amount of time before the company decides whether to offer them a permanent position or not. If the new employee does not perform well, the company can decide not to hire them once the specified probation period is over. The length of a probation period depends on the agreement between employers and their new staff members. If an employee delivers an outstanding performance, management may decide to end their probation so that they can offer them a permanent contract.
The advantages and disadvantages of probation periods at work
A probation period allows employers to assess the performance of new staff members before they hire them. It offers managers an opportunity to determine whether or not new staff members have the knowledge and skills that are required to complete the tasks assigned to them.
Another advantage of probation is that senior-level staff can check that their new employees are trustworthy and honest before they complete the hiring process. While many people think that a probation period gives the company the right to terminate their contract whenever they like, probation comes with its own set of legal regulations.
The complexities of the law have resulted in some companies eliminating the need for probation by implementing a thorough hiring process. These employers require prospective candidates to attend numerous interviews in a range of conditions.
Probationary periods in South Africa
A probation period is regulated by the law and employers are not permitted to dismiss employees during this period without following the proper legal processes. Companies who terminate new staff members without understanding their legal obligations can find themselves in trouble with the law.
The purpose of probation is to assess a new employee’s performance on the tasks assigned to them so they can’t be fired because of personal differences with the manager. The contract can only be terminated if the person delivers a poor performance. Even if they don’t have what it takes to succeed in the workplace, the proper legal procedures need to be followed before dismissing them. It’s important for employers to notify new staff members that they are being placed on probation. Employers must set a reasonable period for the new staff member’s performance to be reviewed in accordance with the position that they are working in.
If the new staff member’s performance is unsatisfactory, the employer must provide them with instruction and guidance. The company is required to provide the new employee with training and counselling to give them an opportunity to improve their performance before dismissing them. Employees also have a right to an explanation on which areas they need to improve in. If further performance evaluation is required, employers are permitted to set up a longer probation period. While there are still legalities that companies must comply with, the reason for dismal can be less severe during probation than once a permanent contract is in place.
While it’s important to have an overview of the law, companies should seek assistance from a legal professional to receive expert advice on probation periods. It’s advisable for every company that takes on new staff with a probation period to have a probationary policy in place. Setting clear performance expectations, as well as having a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy, is beneficial.