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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48159
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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IF I have a contract that states a 3 month probationary period

Customer Question

IF I have a contract that states a 3 month probationary period but also states that there will be a written confirmation to indicate that I have passed that period, does this mean that the employer has a right to dismiss me with one weeks notice once I have worked for 6 months and if my notice period is actually 3 months?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded.

For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

JACUSTOMER-gp5grw03- :

I have been at the company for 6 months. That information is actually in my question.

JACUSTOMER-gp5grw03- :

They are saying that because they have not given a written confirmation that my probationary period is over, that I am not entitled to 3 months pay as stated in my employment contract.

Ben Jones :

So the contract entitled you to 3 months' notice once your probation was officially passed following written confirmation?

JACUSTOMER-gp5grw03- :

Well, the two are not connected on the contract. It just says that after 3 months of continous employment, my notice period will be 3 months

JACUSTOMER-gp5grw03- :

I need to leave the office soon, which means that I cannot continue this chat. Will you be coming back to me within the next 5 minutes?

Ben Jones :

Yes I am just going to type up my advice quickly

Ben Jones :

Whilst it is possible for an employer to extend an employee's probationary period this can only really happen if there is a clause in their contract allowing them to do so. I understand that there was a requirement on the employer to confirm the successful completion of your probation in writing but if there was no clause allowing them to actually extend the probationary period and there was no indication that you had not passed it and they continued your employment as normal, then it would usually be implied that the probation was passed.

Another important factor is that the notice period does not appear dependent on what your status within the company is, such as on probation or not. From what I understand it was simply dependent on your length of service. So assuming that the notice period simply referred to you being there for 3 months or more, it would not be relevant on whether you were still in probation or not.

Finally, a probationary period is still part of your continuous employment - that does not start once your probation is completed. It means that once you had completed 3 months with that employer, whether on probation or not, you would have satisfied the requirement to become eligible for the extended notice period.

Ben Jones :

Has this answered your query or do you need me to clarify anything?