unclear contract and probation period

Discussion in 'Work, Careers, Employment rights, further study' started by jillyb, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. jillyb

    jillyb Frequent Poster

    hey everyone,

    I left a permanent job as the role was changing so I applied for only other permanent roles as I didn't want the instability of contract work.

    So I had an interview for a permanent role and was offered the job. While discussing salary contract etc before accepting they said it would be a 6 month probation period and then a permanent 1 or 2 year contract that would always be renewed. Even the guy hiring me said he's on a 2 year contract.

    I wasn't happy about this as always had permanent roles and was concerned about job security. So he said he'd go back and discuss it and let me know. So I get an email stating that they've agreed ta 3 month probationary contract after which I would be offered a permanent contract.

    He then went on to say that he only had a 2 year contract and it's just a new policy they're introduced. However they also agreed a 5% increase in salary after yr 1.

    So I took this to mean a 3 month probationary contract and then a permanent role.

    So start of this week my probation period was up and today I had a meeting to discuss how I was getting on. Most of it was clarification on the role etc as It was a new job sharing role that was unclear/unstructured what exactly I was doing at the start but has settled down and I thought I was doing well.

    So today he said they want to extend the probationary period to see if the job sharing role works out and then i'll be offered a 1 or 2 year permanent contract. They are going that way as of past employee was there for 40 yrs and hard to dismiss and that it keeps employees on their toes. Also if there was a downturn in the business ( basically i took from that- we can get rid of you more easily then!!!)

    1. Can they just extend my probationary period? There's no mention of it in my contract

    2. Did I misunderstand as I thought a permanent contract means no defined end date but it's in fact a fixed term contract that is say 1 or 2 years. There isn't such thing as a permanent contract that's for eg 1 year?

    My contract states probationary period of 3 months and then offered a permanent contract.

    Any help would be great.

  2. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

    They can extend your probation but usually is specified in the contract that it can only be done for another 3/6 months. To the best of my knowledge it either has to be specified directly in the contract of employment or else it can be specified in any staff handbooks/ procedures that were given to you and you signed that you read.

    The wording of the contract sounds poorly written and have left the company open if they simply state 3 months contract and then permanent contract. You would certainly have a case. I also don't get their argument about the use of 2 year rolling contracts that would always be renewed. My understanding is that employees can only have two of these contracts and then must be offered a open ended permanent contract.
  3. Jim2007

    Jim2007 Frequent Poster

    I can't for the live of me see why you'd want to hang around in that has treated you this way up to now??? Accept the probation period extension if you must to keep the cash flowing, but start looking for something else right away.
    Thirsty and elcato like this.
  4. jillyb

    jillyb Frequent Poster

    Thanks for the replies

    hmmm.... ya my role was messy and office politics etc were happening from day one. It took nearly all of my probation for that to settle down.

    Was a lot of new stuff to learn so bit annoyed I invested my time and its a specialised area that isn't as transferrable skills wise.

    I'm annoyed as its good money, part time, close to home and good pension contribution. However if they are mucking me about now what does that hold for the future.

    Also person i'm job sharing with is on a 6 month contract which shes happy with (long story short) she came in as a temp to help with accounts as last person left them in the lurch and a huge mess to clean up. She ended up staying but constantly says in a jokey way that its not worth it.

    Think they may be extending my probation to coincide with her contract ending and if she decides to leave they may dismiss me and get 1 full time person.

    As they only created the two part time roles to accommodate her so she'd stay

    They arranged for me to meet the pension consultant earlier this week to be put on the company pension scheme so thought that was a good sign. So the probation extension was a surprise
  5. Leo

    Leo Moderator

    Alternatively, if you prove yourself up to the job, you could be that one full time person if that's what you want. Job shares are always tricky to manage, so most companies would prefer a single person in a role over splitting it between two.
    RETIRED2017 likes this.
  6. jillyb

    jillyb Frequent Poster

    Unfortunately I can't work full time but even if I could the person I job share with is more qualified in accounting. I do day to day accounts and we have one day we overlap and I do other admin and she does monthly accounts then.

    So if she left they'd need a more qualified person part time or full time.
  7. Humpty Dumpty

    Humpty Dumpty Registered User

    Dosent really matter how long your probation period is, as the default probation period for everyone is 12 months, regardless if you pass your initial 6.9. or whatever period the company set. A company are within their rights and employment law to terminate an employees contract within the first 12 months, regardless of any agreed, contracted for, or otherwise prior agreement regarding said contract.
  8. Leo

    Leo Moderator

    To ensure exemption to the Unfair Dismissals Act, an agreed probation period must be in place. This must be documented in the employment contract, and can be up to a maximum of 12 months in duration. There is no default probationary period under Irish law, and even within a well documented probation period, an employer needs to be careful how they handle terminations.

    More here and here.