So, your on Probation?

Do you ever wonder where you stand with your employer in terms of employment standards? It’s surprising how few people understand the laws in this regard. To be honest many employers don’t understand the law, and often operate outside the legal limits. Those companies that do know the law, often use it against employees. So, what are your rights?

A probationary period refers to the period that employers utilize to evaluate whether a new employee is a proper fit for a job. Employers can terminate the employee during this period without proving any notice or pay in lieu. It generally runs for three months, but could be longer.

“the status of a probationary employee has acquired a clear meaning at common law. Unless the employment contract specifies otherwise, probationary status enables an employee to be terminated without notice during the probationary period if the employer makes a good faith determination that the employee is unsuitable for permanent employment, and provided the probationary employee was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to demonstrate their suitability.”

Under the common law, employers must act in good faith throughout the employment relationship. The employer’s conclusion must be a reasonable one and properly motivated. They may take into consideration factors such as character, compatibility and an ability to meet the present and future production standards expected by the employer.

It is improper for employers to reach its conclusion to dismiss an employee before the employee has been given a fair opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

That last bit is the caveat. This is basically an employees failsafe. If you feel you have not been given “A fair opportunity to demonstrate your abilities…call a lawyer, or better yet, the Labour Board.

To conclude, I would also offer this advice to you as an employee. Pick your jobs carefully, do the research. Make sure they have a good record of employee/employer relations. There are many companies out there operating on the fringes of the law, perhaps within the legislation, but barely. Typically these are huge multinationals that don’t give a rip about you, and are more concerned with maintaining a facade of good will. Avoid these EVIL EMPIRES at all costs. Cheers, and have a great weekend!