Introduction to this document

Probation period review form

At the end of an employee’s probationary period, your three options are to confirm their appointment, extend probation or dismiss them. Our probation period review form allows you to formally assess their performance and conduct to assist you in taking a decision. Only extend probation if you’ve a contractual right to do so.

End of probation review

When an employee comes to the end of their probationary period, you’ll need to formally review their performance and conduct. In fact, you’ve probably already been monitoring the employee’s progress on an ongoing basis to identify any performance or conduct issues or training needs, giving them guidance or warning where necessary, and so you’ll already know which general direction you want to go. Our Probation Period Review Form can be used by line managers to write up their formal assessment of the employee. It enables them to specify areas of satisfactory performance/conduct and areas where they’re unsatisfactory, as well as providing an overall summary of performance/conduct. They can then make their recommendations for the next step by ticking one of three boxes.

The next step

You have three options for the next step:

  1. Confirm the employee’s appointment - this will apply where the employee has successfully completed their probation because you’re happy with their performance/conduct. In this case, you can then send our Satisfactory Probationary Period Letter.
  2. Extend probation to allow further time for improvement - this applies where you have some concerns about the employee’s performance/conduct but you feel they could sufficiently improve given further time. You should only extend probation where you’ve reserved the right to do so in the employee’s job offer letter or employment contract, so do check the terms, including the maximum permitted extension period. In this scenario, you can then send our Extension of Probationary Period Letter.
  3. Dismiss the employee - this will be the case where the employee’s performance/conduct has been unsatisfactory. Here, send our Dismissal at End of Probationary Period Letter.

Where Option 2 is selected, our review form asks the line manager to provide further details of the reasons for the proposed extension, to outline any plans to improve the employee’s performance/conduct and to specify by how long they think probation should be extended. In the case of Option 3, the line manager is asked to provide further details of the employee’s performance or conduct problems - you want to be sure their assessment is objective.

Statutory employment rights

Probationary periods have no meaning in law so they won’t affect a new employee’s length of qualifying employment for statutory employment rights, such as unfair dismissal and redundancy pay. Any qualifying periods begin to run from their employment start date, regardless of whether a probationary period is in place. That said, as most probationary periods are for six month or less, in practice the employee won’t have accrued sufficient continuity of employment to bring a claim for unfair dismissal or redundancy pay if they’re dismissed at the end of probation. Do take care though to ensure there’s no unlawfully discriminatory dismissal reason or that the reason for dismissal isn’t one that’s “automatically unfair”, as these claims don’t require any minimum length of qualifying employment.