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Dismissed during extended probationary period

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I hope someone can clarify something for me. I have just been sacked from my job whilst on an extended probationary period. I know they are within their rights to do this. However, my query is this: when the probationary period has been extended, do they have to put it in writing? If so does that mean my probationary period was not extended?

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Hi there, and I am sorry to learn of your situation.


The problem with a probationary period is that it has no special place in law other than to make certain contractual entitlements (perhaps a payrise, additional benefits, insurance) available after successfully completing a period of work. What is critical in gaining employment rights is the overall length of service - after 12 months you gain the right to take action against the employer if you are unfairly dismissed. Everything else just means that the employer reserves the right to terminate your employment if you don't 'pass' your probation without fear of being sued for Unfair Dismissal - but they can do that anyway, so in a sense everybody is on 12 months probation from that point of view.


Insofar as to whether your employer had a probationary period of one month, six months, or 11 months is therefore largely irrelevant - the PB just formalises things, so there is nothing that you can really do over whether the PB extension was formalised in writing or not - unless successfully passing it entitled you to additional benefits which you had a reasonable expectation to receive. Failing to notify that the PB was being extended could then become a matter of a breach of contract, and in theory at least you could act to recover any amounts promised but not given.


How long had you worked for them? Do you consider that their actions in dismissing you might have been motivated by discrimination (race, gender, religion, age etc)? Discrimination is one of very few exceptions where you may claim Unfair Dismissal without having 12 months notice.

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I agree with SW above.

Did your employer give you notice of your dismissal? Was there contractual provision for notice periods?

The statutory notice period having completed one months continuous service is one week.

You would be entitled to at least that (contract might have made longer provision), unless your employer could successfully argue that you were guilty of gross misconduct.

Were you paid any accrued holiday pay?

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They have graciously promised to pay me until the end of the month and are being good re accrued holiday. I just wanted to know for my own satisfaction that all was above board. I have to say it was a surprise to me that they dismissed me after telling me all was ok last week.

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