Probationary periods: for recruiting managers

All new employees are subject to a 6 month probationary period before their appointment is confirmed. The probationary period may be ended earlier or extended following discussion with the manager and the employee concerned.

Probationary employees will be assessed by their manager at 3 months and 5 months service. If successful, at the 6 month stage (or after the extension end date) the employee will attend a final meeting and receive formal notification that they have completed their probationary period.

First probationary review meeting at 3 months

The purpose of the three month review meeting is to discuss the employee’s performance in accordance with the contents of the Probationary Period Assessment Form – 3 months.

Probationary policy and procedure (PDF, 1.6MB)

The employee and manager should discuss the employee’s performance in relation to the contents of the 3 month Probationary Period Assessment Form and record the outcome on that form accordingly.

Second probationary review meeting at 5 months

The purpose of the second probationary review meeting is to review performance, conduct, timekeeping, sickness absence and attendance and constructive feedback should be given to the employee highlighting both achievements and any areas where they are falling short. Examples must always be provided.

Final probationary review meeting at 6 months (or at the end of the probationary extension)

The possible outcomes at the end of the 6 month probationary review meeting (or at the end of the extension period) are as follows:

Confirmation of a successful completion of the probationary period

At the end of the six months probationary period (or extension period), it is important that the manager confirms the successful completion of the probationary period at this meeting and confirms in writing. A copy must be sent to HR. It should not be allowed to pass on the assumption that the new employees know they have met the required standard because no action has been taken against them.


Extension of the probationary period

If the 5 month probationary review was satisfactory and there is a now a cause for concern or where there were concerns at the 3 and/or 5 month stage and the manager wishes to extend once again, the manager should write to the employee inviting him/her to a meeting.

The letter should clearly state the topic areas that the manager wishes to discuss and state any specific issues that the manager might have.

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