The employee’s probationary period is usually defined within their Contract of Employment, with additional reference within the Company’s Handbook.

The probationary period allows you to review the new employee’s performance within the role to determine progress and achievement of role expectations.

If necessary, you can extend their probationary period providing them with additional time to settle in and perform to the required standard.

Where the individual is not working out, termination is a possibility, although you must be aware of potential discrimination issues in situations where health or caring responsibilities may be an influence on performance.

We recommend an informal review at 4 weeks as a “settling in” discussion.

You should then diarise a meeting with the new starter to take place at 3 months (if on a 6 month probation) to review their performance.

If the probation is for 6 months the final meeting should take place towards the end of the 6 month period.

The purpose of the review is to confirm to the employee that you are either signing them off the probationary period or extending them with further support.

You should seek further guidance if you are considering terminating a new starter’s employment.