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Probationary letters

Use the BusinessHR template probationary letters to help you to manage your probationary periods effectively.

  • Shortly before the end of the probationary period, write to the new employee to invite him/her to a review meeting Paid up members only. to discuss his/her performance to date. If the meeting may result in a dismissal, you should mention this in your invitation letter.

    Prepare for the meeting as you would for an annual performance review. At the meeting, fully discuss the performance to date and comment on what has been done well and what perhaps needs further training or improvement. Depending on your assessment of the employee's performance, decide whether confirmation, extension of the probationary period, or dismissal (with notice or pay in lieu) is appropriate. Inform the employee and then use one of the following letters to confirm your decision.

  • If the employee's performance has been satisfactory, write to confirm satisfactory completion Paid up members only. of the probationary period. This gives an encouraging message to the employee and helps him/her to feel more settled in the new role.
  • Should there be doubts about the employee's ability to perform successfully in the job but you feel that either you have not had a proper opportunity to judge (possibly due to absence or other factors) or that the employee may be able, with more training and guidance, to reach a satisfactory level of performance, attendance or conduct, you can formally extend the probationary period Paid up members only.. The extended period should then be monitored to ensure the employee manages to achieve a satisfactory standard during this time. Do remember to follow up on the extended probationary period. If by the extended period date you haven't extended further or dismissed, the period would be deemed as successful.
  • Should the employee's performance, attendance or conduct be unsatisfactory and you feel that he/she is not able and/or willing to remedy this, write to confirm the employee's dismissal Paid up members only., having informed him/her of your decision at the meeting.

Further information

You may also find our guide to managing the probationary period Paid up members only. useful background reading.


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