The objective of extending a probationary period is to provide the employee more time to improve their performance to prove competence in the full range of duties and required behaviours.
If a probationer's performance is not acceptable in some areas, but the manager feels that more training and support can improve the employee, they can consider an extension. The manager could also give the extension in cases where the employee or the manager has been absent for an extended period due to circumstances beyond the employee's control.
Probation extension guidelines
A manager should only give an extension where extraordinary situations are justifying such decision. The manager should provide the extension before the end of the original probationary period.
Once both parties agree to the probation extension, the manager must prepare the terms of extension in writing. In Malaysia, there is no specific law limiting the probation extension. It is essential to state clearly:
- The period of the extension and the date on which the extended period will end. An extension is usually on month by month basis or for a maximum of three further months.
- The reason for the probation extension. For example, the employee's performance has not met the specific standards, but the manager believes that an extension will be useful in letting the employee accomplish these standards.
- The performance objectives that the employee needs to achieve by the end of the extended period of probation.
- Any training or support that the employer will provide during the extension.
- If the employee does not meet all the required standards, the employer will terminate their employment by the end of the extended period of probation.
The manager should know that it is not wise to make probation extensions the norm. There must be unique factors that justify an extension.
Termination of contract
To give an employee a chance to meet the required objectives, the manager should wait until the end of the probationary period before deciding to terminate the employee. But, if the employer is confident that the employee will not meet the objectives required, they can choose to end the contract before the probation period ends.
Once the manager has decided to terminate the probationer's contract, they should give the employee five days notice in writing before meeting them. The manager will provide the reasons why the employee has failed to complete the probationary period and give a chance for the employee to present their case, including any mitigating situations.
Most company policies or employment contracts state the full disciplinary procedure is not usually considered appropriate for employees working within the probationary period.
If an employer dismisses an employee without going through a fair dismissal process, the employee can claim wrongful dismissal. Wrongful dismissal happens when an employer dismisses an employee in breach of the employer's contractual or statutory obligations.
For example, the employer fails to follow a contractual disciplinary / dismissal procedure or fails to give contractual notice. Employers are then required to pay damages for wrongful dismissal if taken to court.
Probation extension letter templates
PROBATION EXTENSION LETTER 1
PROBATION EXTENSION LETTER 2
PROBATION EXTENSION LETTER 3
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Source: First Practice Management
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