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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I have a permanent contract with my company. Currently I am

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I have a permanent contract with my company. Currently I am still on probation. In the contract it states that there is a one week notice period during probation. My probation is over two weeks from now. I am wondering up until when they can theoretically let me go with just one week notice?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract state your probation can be extended?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have my contract on hand. But I can check at work. COuld you lay out proceedings for both cases?
Does it state what the notice period is after probation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
After probation notice period is 2 months.
Thank you. The first and most important thing is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. During probation this is one week, after which it becomes 2 months. So at any time up until the end of probation they can dismiss you with a week’s notice, so for the next 2 weeks. If the contract does not contain an option to extend the probation then they cannot do so and after the fixed time of the probationary period has elapsed, you will be entitled to 2 months’ notice. If there is a clause allowing them to exercise an extension then they can rely on that and the probation could be extended beyond the initial fixed period. This means that you would still only be entitled to a week’s notice for that extended period. There is a technicality tough which means your probation could be considered passed if the employer tries to extend the probation once the initial fixed period has expired. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the mentioned technicality, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Thank you. The relevant case in these circumstances is that of Przybylska v Modus Telecom Limited.There, the employee Miss Przybylska, was employed on a 3 month probationary period, which could have been extended by the employer. During the probation her employment could be terminated with a week’s notice, with a longer period applying once the probation was completed. She was on holiday when her probationary period expired and the employer had not yet taken steps to extend her probationary period. A couple of weeks later she was dismissed with just a week’s notice, as required during her probationary period.She complained of breach of contract and the decision was that she should have been paid 3 months notice, which would have applied after the completion of her probationary period. The Tribunal said that the assessment on whether to confirm the completion of her probation or extend it should have taken place during the probationary period and if it wanted to the employer should have extended the probationary period before it was due to expire. Therefore, if the employer has not taken steps to extend the probation before it expires, it would be assumed that it has been successfully completed and the terms that would apply following successful completion would be the valid ones.