Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract allow for the employer to extend your probationary period?
Hi Ben,My contract doesn't specify if they can or they can't extend my probationary period
Thanks, ***** ***** the contract state that your probationary period is for a fixed time only, for example the initial 3 months of your employment?
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
My contract says 6 months but they are under the impression my probationary period is only 3 months
Hi, thanks for getting back to me. Your legal rights in terms of potentially removing you from the company will be rather limited because in the first 2 years of your employment you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. Unfortunately that means the employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason within that period without providing a formal justification or needing a fair reason. It could be on performance issues, misconduct, what you have said, what you have done or simply if ‘your face does not fit’. They only have to ensure they are not discriminating against you, such as because of you race, religion, age, gender, etc but it does not appear that this is an issue here.
So if the employer is intent on terminating your employment you cannot avoid that, all you would be due is your contractual notice period and any accrued holidays. Whether you want to wait until that happens or resign beforehand is up to you, I cannot advise which way to go down as it is a personal choice really.
As to extending your probationary period, usually that can only happen if the contract allows for it. You have a 6 month probationary period in place so if they want to keep you on probation beyond that period they must really have the contractual right to do so. Sadly it does not give you many new rights if no such clause exis6ts and they try to extend it – they can still dismiss you regardless and the only thing you can claim in the circumstances would be if you are missing out on certain benefits by being held on probation for longer than the contract, for example any increase in pay, or other benefits which employees who have passed their probation may get.
Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you
What about unlawful dismissal?
there is no such thing as unlawful dismissal, you have two types of dismissal - unfair dismissal, which you are not protected against and wrongful dismissal, which only happens if the employer dismisses you in breach of contract. So for example if they do not pay you the contractual notice period you are due that would be wrongful dismissal and you are protected against that but if they pay you the notice you are due, then unfortunately you cannot challenge the fairness or reasons for the dismissal because you do not meet the minimum criteria to claim.Hope this answers your follow up query?