Probation periods are commonly used by employers as ‘trial periods’ to ensure that an employee could integrate well into their organisation. Although probation periods have no legal standing, the employer shouldn’t assume that the employee has no employment rights during this period.
Regardless of whether they’re in a probation period or not, the employee has employment rights and protection from the minute they start working for the organisation. It is not the probation period itself which dictates the paramaters of rights for the employee, but rather the length of time that they have been working within the organisation.
However, an employer can choose to limit the contractual rights of the employee in certain areas, allowing the employer to withhold certain benefits available to employees who have passed their probation period. This doesn’t include:
- Paid at least national minimum wage
- Pay slips
- Paid holiday leave
- Maximum working hours and minimum breaks
- Maternity leave
If an employee does not pass their probation period successfully, then they are still entitled to receive contractual notice of termination, or payment if there is a contractual clause that allows it.