Letter inviting an employee to attend a meeting following an unsatisfactory probationary period

What is a letter inviting an employee to attend a meeting following an unsatisfactory probationary period and when should it be used?


You should use this letter when you want to formally meet with an employee at the end of their probationary period to discuss their unsatisfactory performance, where dismissal is being considered.

This letter should follow on from previous review meetings you have had with the employee where the probationary period has perhaps already been extended.

It has been drafted to ensure that fair procedures are being followed.

The letter should set out your problems with the employee’s performance or characteristics or other circumstances which have given rise to your concerns.

At the meeting, the employee should be given the opportunity to explain their poor performance.

After the meeting you should formally notify the employee of the decision that was made.

You must also inform the employee of his or her right to appeal any decision that you have made or any action that you intend to take.

You can use our letter dismissing at the end of a probation period to do this.

If you are considering dismissing your employee either during their probationary period or at the end, you need to ensure that their contract of employment allows for this.

A typical clause in an employment contract will read:

‘Subject to satisfactory completion of the probationary period specified below, you will be employed on a full-time permanent basis until your employment is terminated by either party giving the other the notice period specified in the notice clause’

…or words to that effect.

Generally, an employee who is dismissed during or at the end of their probation does not have the necessary 12 months’ service to allow them to avail of the reliefs provided by the Unfair Dismissals Act.

However, fair procedures and natural justice still apply because there are some limited remedies open to an employee, which do not require 12 months’ service.

Such claims might be founded on a discriminatory ground, for example.

For more information on probation periods, how they work and how to manage them, take a look at our guide on this topic.

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