Probation Period Policy
Last Updated 19 May 2021 in Ways of Working
The Society is committed to ensuring that all new colleagues receive the best possible support in their first few weeks with us. It is the Society’s policy to operate a probationary period for all new colleagues, this allows colleagues time to settle into their new role.
This policy sets out the Society’s procedure for managing the probationary period. The probationary period procedure allows both new colleagues to demonstrate their suitability to undertake all duties of their appointed role and for the line manager to outline the required and expected standard of performance for the position. Whilst the probationary period procedure is intended to allow the Society and the new colleague to assess whether or not the colleague is suitable for the role, it is not a replacement for effective and careful recruitment procedures as outlined in the Society’s Recruitment Policy.
This policy and procedure applies to all colleagues (whether employed on a full-time, part-time, fixed term or permanent basis). It does not apply to agency staff and contractors.
This policy does not form part of any contract of employment and the Society may amend it at any time.
The Society’s period of probation for all new colleagues is 13 weeks. During the probationary period colleagues will be subject to all terms and conditions set out in their contract of employment.
Colleagues who have successfully passed probation in one position, who then move to a different position within the Society will not be subject to a further formal probation process. However, it will still be necessary to ensure that an effective induction is carried out within their new position, objectives are set and the colleague check-in process is followed.
The probation period will work alongside the induction process with relevant support and guidance provided throughout the monitoring period. It is a requirement for all new colleagues to follow the induction process, this is set out in the induction Guide2development .
Line managers are responsible for following the induction programme and monitoring a new colleague’s performance and progress during the probationary period. They must ensure that the colleague is properly informed at the start of their employment about what is expected of them during probation, for example the required job outputs or standards of performance.
All new colleagues are required to read and confirm they understand the Society’s key policies including the: Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Data Protection Policy, Bribery and Fraud Policy, Acceptable Use of IT Facilities Policy and the Whistleblowing Policy
A colleague induction Guide2development is available to assist managers with the induction process and it is also a useful tool for reference during probationary check-in meetings.
Probationary Check-in Meetings
During a colleague’s probation period, line managers should provide regular feedback. Line managers should provide support and arrange any additional training where required. Colleagues are asked to speak with their line manager in the first instance to provide their feedback or ask for additional support or guidance throughout their probation period.
As part of the induction process, line managers should regularly check-in with a colleague. Ideally these check-in’s should be held at some or all of the following intervals, which are aligned to the colleague induction Guide2development:
First check-in: At the end of the first month of employment (week 4).
Second check-in: At the mid-point of the probationary period (week 6)
Third check-in: During week 10
Final check-in: During week 13
Check-in’s are an important part of the induction and probation process as it provides both the manager and colleague with the opportunity to discuss the colleague’s work performance, achievements and areas for development. If there are any problem areas identified, line managers should raise them with the colleague as soon as possible with a view to resolving them, which should be in advance of the final check-in or following any formal process terminate employment during the probationary period.
Line managers may also request a formal review meeting at any time during the probationary period. A colleague may be accompanied at a formal review meeting by a colleague or a trade union representative. The colleague’s companion will be permitted to address the meeting and confer with the colleague during the meeting, but the companion is not allowed to answer questions on the colleague’s behalf. A record should be kept of feedback that is given, with a copy kept on the colleagues file and a copy given to the colleague.
Ending or Extending the Probationary Period
Throughout the check-in process colleagues will be aware of whether they are meeting the required standards expected of them to have successfully completed their probationary period or not.
If a line manager has expressed any concerns about the colleague’s ability to meet the Society’s expectations throughout the probationary period and where improvements have been made but are still not up to the Society’s expectations, a decision will be made on whether to extend the probationary period.
An extension may also be implemented in circumstances where the colleague or the line manager has been absent from the workplace for an extended period during probation.
The manager should consult with their HR advisor before extending the probationary period. Colleagues will be notified of the extension and the reasons for this, in writing. Colleagues will be advised: the length of the extension (which will not normally exceed a further 13 weeks); the reason for the extension; the performance levels the colleagues is required to achieve by the end of the extended period and any support or further training. Colleagues will also be advised that failure to improve may result in the termination of employment. During this extension period, line managers must continue to meet with colleagues to review performance and provide feedback.
Termination of Employment Within the Probationary Period
If a colleague’s performance, attendance, or conduct while on probation has been unsatisfactory and it is thought that further training or support would not lead to a satisfactory level of improvement, the employment may be terminated either before or at the end of the probationary period. The notice issued will be as stated in the colleague’s contract of employment Line managers should discuss the matter with their HR advisor before any decision is made to terminate the colleague’s employment.
Where a decision is taken to terminate the colleague’s employment, colleagues will be invited to a formal review meeting. A colleague may be accompanied at the formal review meeting by a trade union representative or a colleague. Colleagues will be informed of the decision to terminate and their right to appeal.
If, however during a colleague’s probation, it is suspected or known that the colleague is wholly unsuitable to the position, the line manager should consult with their HR advisor to discuss the possibility of terminating the colleague’s contract early with the appropriate notice.
If concerns arise regarding the colleague’s employment after the probationary period, the Society’s normal applicable process should be followed.
Where a colleague’s employment is terminated in accordance with this policy, they have the right to appeal against their dismissal in writing within five working days of receiving the outcome letter. The letter should set out the grounds of the appeal.
The Society will arrange an appeal meeting with an independent manager and colleagues can be accompanied by either a trade union representative or a work colleague as at a formal review meeting. The outcome of the appeal meeting will be notified to the colleague in writing as soon as possible and will be final.
If colleagues have any questions regarding or require additional support, you should speak to your line manager. Alternatively, you can contact the HR advisor for your business group, or contact the HR advice line on 01926 516469.
|Policy name:||Probation Period Policy||Date of last review:||May 2021|
|Policy owner:||HR||Issue number:||HR-NP-001|