Introduction to this document

Dismissal at end of probationary period letter

If an employee’s performance or conduct has been more or less unsatisfactory from the outset and you wish to dismiss them during or at the end of their probationary period, you can write to them confirming their dismissal on notice.


When taking on new employees you might provide for a “probationary period”. This is usually three to six months although it could be longer or shorter. If an employee’s performance or conduct is unsatisfactory during their probationary period, you may wish to dismiss them. Use our Dismissal at End of Probationary Period Letter to confirm a dismissal on the grounds of poor performance or misconduct during or at the end of an employee’s probationary period. The issue of unfair dismissal should not arise, as an employee on probation will not usually have gained sufficient continuous service to bring an unfair dismissal claim to an employment tribunal. An employee can generally make a claim for unfair dismissal if they have been employed for two years or more. So the employee’s only legal entitlements are to their contractual notice period (or to pay in lieu if you do not wish them to work out this period), to all outstanding wages up to the date of termination of their employment and to pay in lieu of accrued but untaken annual leave entitlement. Whilst you’re not legally obliged to provide written reasons for dismissal, it’s better to do so just in case the employee later tries to allege they were dismissed either for an unlawfully discriminatory reason or for one of the many “automatically unfair” reasons for dismissal. These claims do not require any minimum period of qualifying employment.