Has HR ensured that:
- there is an induction policy and a set of induction practices in the department/office which clarifies the roles and responsibilities in the induction of new entrants;
- formal induction training to new entrants should be provided within 3 months;
- all new employees are given a one year probationary contract;
- the one year probationary contract is in line with good practice and provides for termination of the contract at the end of the contract or any time during the contract;
- all new employees are advised of the length of the probation period;
- all new employees are advised that appointment to a permanent position is subject to the satisfactory completion of the probationary period;
- all new employees have received a copy of their terms and conditions of employment including any relevant codes and policies
Has HR supported line managers through ensuring that in advance of the new entrant starting:
- line managers have received or have access to the Department’s/Office’s induction policy and procedures;
- line managers have been given guidelines/checklist which clarifies their responsibilities as the manager of a new entrant;
- line managers have completed a draft role profile form for the new entrant as soon as they commence work;
- line managers know the review cycle for an employee on probation and are familiar with the aspects of performance they will be assessing;
- line managers have received or have been given access to the probation review forms
- line managers know what to do if there are any problems during the probationary period, including the necessity to keep records of such problems and the steps taken to overcome them;
- line managers know that other than in the most exceptional and unavoidable circumstances probationary contracts should not be extended.
Has HR introduced procedures to ensure regular contact with managers managing employees on probationary contracts to ensure that:
- at least 3 probationary review meetings have taken place between the manager and the probationer at three monthly intervals;
- the final probationary review meeting takes place at the latest 9 months into the probationary contract;
- the manager is satisfied with the performance to date, attendance and general conduct of the jobholder within 6-8 weeks of the probationary period commencing;
- line managers are supported in identifying and addressing any issues that have arisen early in the probation;
- HR receives a written recommendation from the line manager to confirm the appointment or to terminate the appointment/ contract by month 9 of the contract.
Where performance has been confirmed as satisfactory by the line manager, HR Unit should:
- notify employees in writing that they will be appointed to the permanent position as established civil servants once the probationary contract expires, providing that satisfactory performance continues from month 9 to month 12
Where performance (including attendance, sick leave, behaviour) of the employee has not been confirmed as satisfactory by the line manager HR must :
- decide whether the contract should terminate on expiry of the probationary contract or sooner. (The contract should not be extended to allow time for performance improvement.)
- notify employees in writing that their line manager has recommended the termination of their employment on expiry of the contract or during the probationary contract, subject to statutory notice 9 (see Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973-2005 );
- submit the case for termination of employment to the appropriate authority well in advance of the expiry of the contract (i.e during month 9 of a 12 month contract);
- give the employee the opportunity to make written or verbal representations in relation to the appropriate authority;
- ensure the decision to terminate the contract on, or before, its expiry is taken by the appropriate authority by month 10 of the contract at the latest.
- ensure that annual leave is taken into account when deciding the termination date. Untaken annual leave can extend the date of the contact
HR Unit should suspend the probationary contract only:
- when an employee is on Maternity or Adoptive leave: Section 25 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 (as amended) provides that the probationary period will be suspended during an employee’s absence from work while on maternity or adoptive leave.
- when an employee is on Parental or Carer’s leave: Parental Leave (Circular 22/1998 as amended) and Carer’s Leave (Circular 39/2005) allow the employer to require that probation be suspended, if appropriate.
- where an employee is absent due to non-recurring illness.
At the end of a period of probation on promotion HR Unit should ensure that:
- where performance has been assessed as satisfactory, the appointment should be made substantive and the officer should be confirmed in their new grade.
- where performance during probation on promotion has been assessed as not satisfactory despite receiving appropriate supports from the manager the officer should be returned to his/her previous grade/position