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Retract Confirmation Letter

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:06:27 PM  (Last updated: Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:45:04 AM)

Hi to anyone that can kindly advise,

Employee was approached by direct manager and was informed that probation was extended due to non-performance and not fitting to the company culture. A few weeks after the discussion, employee found a confirmation letter dated and signed by Head of HR in a sealed envelope passed by the employee's direct manager. The date on the confirmation letter was before the discussion took place.

Employee then seeked clarification from the direct manager but manager was not aware of the confirmation letter issued by HR as the manager thought the letter was for extension of probation. The employee's manager then took the original confirmation letter and had a discussion with HR. Employee took a photograph of the confirmation letter.

The 1st question is if it is possible for the company to retract the employee's confirmation letter and issue a letter to extend probation? How should they inform the employee? Verbal or by official letter? 

The 2nd question is if the employee is considered confirmed or still under probation that has been extended?

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:45:04 AM


Understand that the whole purpose of a probationary period is so that the employers have a chance to assess as to whether the employee has the general aptitude and attitude to fit into the role he/she is hired for and the company before being duly confirmed in the appointment. There is nothing the Employment or IR Act that outlines probationers. However, there are cases that have touched on probation and confirmation.

Now in the scenario given above looks like some mistake or miscommunication has taken place between the direct manager and the HR department.

Answer to your first question -whether they retract the confirmation letter or not is not the issue. the issue is the employee's performance. Why? because whether you are a probationer or a confirmed employee if there is a performance issue then the employee can be managed out.

As far as possible all communication should be in writing.

Answer to the 2nd question - it is really up to the Employer. In this scenario, I think (my opinion) there may have cropped up some performance-related issues (could be nearer to the end of the probation period) for this miscommunication to occur. Generally, in many companies, they do an appraisal/assessment after the first/ third/sixth month to ensure a good fit.

the following are some things the employee should also know.

1. The employer has to communicate to him/her poor performance with proper evaluation/appraisal. Is should be documented and the employee should sign off on these.

2. The employee should be given sufficient opportunity and time to improve his/her performance. Specific goals and tasks within a reasonable time frame are given to measure the performance improvements etc.

3. The employer should provide all the necessary guidance and advice

If after having done all this the probationer or confirmed employee fails to show that they can and will perform up to the expectations then the employer may have a right to terminate his/her services.

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