Ask Lanceford
August 26, 2005
Should I accept a further six months probation


When I took up employment with my company, I was placed on three months probation. At the end of the probationary period, my boss told me that they were not totally satisfied with my performance, and were extending my probationary period for another six months. Should I accept this?{{more}}


The Protection of Employment Act, 2003 seeks to support successful employment relationships by promoting confidence in employment relationships. The act regulates many aspects of the employment relationship to prevent arbitrary actions by employees or employers in order to promote this confidence. Probation

is one such area that the act

provides for.

The probationary period attached to a contract of employment must not exceed six (6) months in the first instance and must not be extended for a period that is in excess of the original period. The only exception to this are those instances where persons are employed under specific laws and these laws provide for a probationary period. This applies mainly to some categories of workers employed by the state such as Civil Servants, Police and Teachers. These persons are employed under specific laws that deal with the probationary period in their own ways.

I assume that the person posing the question above does not fall into one of these special categories of workers. She/he should not accept the extension on the basis that the period is excessive. The original period was three (3) months so the maximum extension allowed under the law is three (3) months.

Persons may wish to note also that the services of an employee, during a probationary period, may be terminated without notice or payment in lieu of notice, except payment for the period worked. It is advisable also that if an employer intends to extend the probationary period, then this should be done before the expiration of the probation. Failure to do this often results in the assumption that the employee was confirmed into the position when the probation expired.

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