03 June 2021
Probation periods are an excellent opportunity for employers to help integrate new employees into the workplace.
However, they also give employers the opportunity to assess the individual and their suitability within the company.
While some employees will get through their probation period assuring you they’re the right person for the job, others may need an additional period to assure you.
This is where extensions come in. They allow the employee to know that you still believe they can be the right fit for the role, you just need them to show a little more in certain areas of their work.
What’s a letter extending the probation period?
You should use this letter when an employee has not successfully passed their probation period and you have decided you want to extend their probation to see whether their performance will improve.
This may be because the employee hasn’t quite met all of your expectations before they’ve reached the end of their probation period. But you still want to give them another chance and perhaps offer some additional time or training with them.
Think of it as more time for an employee to meet their targets. Some employees take longer than others to show their abilities at work. You should ensure them it isn’t a failure, just more time to show their suitability for the role.
What reasons are there for extending a probation period?
You may assume there are only Probation extension letters for poor performance. However, probation period extension reasons could include several reasons, such as::
- Improve their performance
- Meet targets
- Improve attendance or punctuality
- Correct general conduct within the workplace
- Learn a new skill that will allow them to meet required standards
If the employee suffers a long leave of absence, you might decide that an extension will give them the time needed to meet your review criteria. You will have only introduced an extension to make up for the lost time.
Remember, a probation period extension is a second chance for an employee who could have a positive impact on your business.
Extending the probationary periods and employment law
You should normally grant an extension only where there are special circumstances justifying such a course and can only be made before the end of the original probationary period.
You will protect your business by specifying your right to extend the employee’s probation period in their contract, which both parties should sign when the employee starts working for you.
This section of the probation period clause should also include the length of a potential extension.
You should not let factors such as race, age, gender, etc. influence your decisions when conducting a performance review. This would be discrimination, where employment law protects employees even under 2 years of continuous service.
If the probation period clause in their contract does not specify your right to extend the probation period, there are three options available to you at the end of the period of probation:
- Pass the employee and confirm their employment
- Fail the employee and dismiss them
- Try to agree on an extension (employees do not have to agree if the contract does not mention your right to extend)
To avoid the problem of trying to convince an employee to agree, make sure that their contract states your right to extend a probation period.
Since there no probation period extension rules, make sure that you draft a sound contract.
Probation period extension letter format
Where it is agreed that the employee’s period of probation will be extended, it is important for the manager to set out the terms of extension in writing. It is important to state clearly:
- The length of the extension and the date on which the extended period will end.
- The reason for the extension – for example that the employee’s performance has fallen short of certain standards, but that the manager reasonably believes that an extension of time will be effective in allowing the employee to achieve these standards.
- Your expected standard of performance for the employee or any specific objectives to be met by the end of the period of probation.
- Any support that you will provide during the extension.
- If the employee does not meet fully the required standards, by the end of the extended period of probation, his/her employment will be terminated.
Download our extension of probation period letter
As mentioned before, an employment probation extension letter can be for several reasons. The letter has to state why it is being extended and how they can action this.
With our probation extension letter sample, you can create multiple kinds of extension letter. Because we leave areas blank for you to fill in with details that vary from employee to employee.
You can create the following employee probation extension letters:
- Probation extension letter due to performance
- Probation extension letters due to attendance
- Probation extension letter due to conduct
- Probation extension letter due to capability
You can change the extension of probation period letter template to suit your individual situation.
Expert support on probation with Croner
Most employers are aware of what a probation period is, but issues can still arise if not utilised correctly. That’s why we created this probation extension letter example.
Make sure your contracts are correct and compliant by utilising our expert documentation team. If you don’t handle probations properly, you can face an unfair dismissal claim.
If you need help to use the probation extension letter format, speak to one of our experts today on 01455 858 132Download
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