Probationary Employment Contract Formulation in the Philippines
A probationary appointment affords the employer an opportunity to observe the skill, competence and attitude of a probationer.
The word probationary, as used to describe the period of employment, implies the purpose of the term or period (Enchanted Kingdom, Inc. vs. Verzo, G.R. No. 209559, December 09, 2015).
While the employer observes the fitness, propriety and efficiency of a probationer, to ascertain whether he is qualified for permanent employment, the probationer, at the same time, seeks to prove to the employer that he has the qualifications to meet the reasonable standards for permanent employment. (41Escorpizo v. University of Baguio, 366 Phil. 166, 175-176 (1999).)
The concept of probationary employment was, thus, introduced for the benefit of the employer to provide him with ample time to observe and determine whether a newly hired employee has the competence, ability and values necessary to achieve his objectives.
Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.
Employers should be careful in crafting probationary employment since any ambiguity shall be resolved in favor of labor (Art. 4, Labor Code). Such favor means regular employment since it offers a better status of the employee.
It bears noting as well that an employee who was not informed of the reasonable standards for regular employment shall be deemed as regular from day one. Thus, it makes better sense when these standards are included in the contract.
As held in Buiser vs. Leogardo, an probationary employment may also be extended upon mutual consent of the parties. This means that instead of terminating an employee who failed the trial period he is given a chance. Now, to avoid ambiguity, the employment contract should already provide a clause for this just like what is found in this template.
The following are sample probationary employment contracts which can help HR practitioners, business owners, and managers craft with ease:
Get a complete package of probationary employment documents from employment contract, evaluation criteria, notices, etc. through the Super 5 Packet.
See also the Probationary Tabulation Metrics.