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Meaning & Definition

Probationary Periods

Probationary periods are defined periods of time that employees are exempt from certain contractual items, most importantly the notice period required for termination. The probationary period allows both employee and employer to see if they are a ‘good fit’ and to make things easier if they need to terminate the contract. The duration of a probation period varies across businesses and industries. Usually, they can last anywhere between 3 months to a year.

A probation period allows the employee to assess whether an employee is right for the job. Employers can take their time to evaluate if the new employee is showing that same potential that you identified in them during the application process and at interview. If it turns out that the person employed fails to meet expectations and deemed unsuitable for the role, then the trial period allows the employer to terminate their employment.

In the same way that the organisation is testing out the employee, the individual can use this time to work out if the company is a good match for them. They can evaluate if the job is as it was described in the specification and interview and can assess if they fit in with the company culture. They can also gauge the workload and responsibilities and determine if they get on with their co-workers and line-manager.

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