Terminating a probationary employee

Beware of potential pitfalls before making the decision to terminate
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/13/2017

Question: We have a new employee who just isn’t working out. How can we terminate him legally and fairly without having to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice?

Answer: Depending on the situation, it may be possible to terminate a new employee without providing notice or pay in lieu of notice. However, there are a number of potential pitfalls you need to be aware of before making the decision to terminate.

 While it is very common for employers to arrange the first three or six months of employment to be probationary, a court will not infer a probationary period in the absence of a contractual provision to that effect. Because of that, it is important to spell this out in a written employment agreement or employment offer letter signed by the employee before the first day of employment.