Hi folks, just wondering if I can get some clarification on this, posting on behalf of a colleague who doesn't have boards or probably even know about.
They started a job early last May for a company, which offered the standard 6 months probation. The issue stems that they're now 7 months into the role after keeping their head down, doing the job and taking only a few sick days due to Covid.
They had a meeting with their manager today, who informed them the probation period has been extended by 3 months, which I get can happen. The problem is that all of this guys performance reviews have been fine and there has been literally no mention of probation in any meeting until a month after the 6 month probation has ended. Can they actually extend the probation even once the 6 months has passed?
I've had a few jobs and I can't think of any time that an actual confirmation was given to me once the 6 months has passed.
A probation period can be extended to a max of 12 months total if stated in the contract or in a company procedure/employee handbook (which employees should be given on joining). Where neither of these exists it shouldn't be being extended.
It sounds like bad form on the employer to not discuss any issues with the employee if they did exist. At this point assuming the extension is allowable, has the employer now briefed the employee on why the period is extended and what improvement is expected? This should be done formally with review meetings set up.
If your colleague is not getting this info, and there is no reason / the company isn't following a procedure, the employer is opening themselves up for an unfair dismissal claim if they do let him go.
I'd be checking contract/policy re extension, asking for information on why, pointing out the good reviews, etc. If it doesn't impact pay/benefits, might not be worth making too much fuss about assuming there is no big problem, but if it stops someone joining pension/health insurance etc. that's a bigger issue ...
Sometimes I think employers ignore employees and suddenly realise the six months are up and maybe there are parts of the job no one has bothered training the employee on or something, so they want to extend just in case, and really that's tough luck for the employer as they should have someone with HR training managing these deadlines and reminding managers they need to do reviews, bring up issues if they exist.
Thanks for the Ari101, it's basically as I suspected and I couldn't find anything on Citizens Information that clarified on it.
It's quite strange as apparently a few people he started with had no probation meeting either, so it appears someone up the line has kind of dropped the ball and trying to play catch up now. I think the concern, like many of us would have, is that if at the end of the next 3 months he could potentially be let and have to go looking for new work.
Know someone this happened to (in a famous Alcohol company in Ireland!), worked like a dog and the probation was extended for another 3 months without any warning. Eventually became permanent but really it was a sign of things to come. Friend just walked off the job after a while it was so toxic (don't do that btw as it can affect dole or something!), People in management were just total pr1cks.
Tell your friend to start looking elsewhere just in case.
Your friend had a meeting with their manager, in that meeting they were informed that the probation period was being extended, why didn't your friend ask their manager in that meeting what the reason was?
See that's what I said, I think he was somewhat blindsided by it, hence why we're looking to gather up some information about it. They don't really want to rock the boat so much (just in case), but also want to make sure they don't get screwed over.