Next Steps When Your Employee Completes Probation

Next Steps When Your Employee Completes Probation

A probation period operates much like a test-run. It provides you with the opportunity to assess an employee’s suitability for the role. At the same time, the employee is able to determine whether the business is a good fit for them. However, when an employee completes probation, the test-run is over and a definitive decision must be made. Will their employment be confirmed or terminated?

Read on to find out how you can effectively navigate the post-probation period.

1. Performance Review

When approaching the end of an employee’s probation period, it is important to evaluate their performance.

Reflect on how they have integrated into the business and whether they fit with the company culture. Moreover, review the quality of their work and identify whether there are any major concerns. Can you mitigate these concerns with formal training? Is there a willingness to learn? Are they better suited for another position within the business?

Once you’ve conducted an assessment, schedule a meeting with the employee. This will allow you to provide feedback on their performance and confirm whether they would like to stay on with the business. 

It may also be beneficial to provide the employee with a copy of the performance review. This can serve as a point of reference for things to work on moving forward.

2. Make a Decision

After assessing the employee’s performance, you are in a position to make an informed decision. There are three decisions you can make:

A. Confirm employment

If the new employee fits in well with the business and has the potential to really excel in the position.

B. Terminate employment

If the new employee doesn’t fit in well, has shown a poor attitude to work or does not possess the attributes required for the job.

C. Extend probationary period

If you require additional time to determine the employee’s suitability for the position. This option is contingent on the employment contract allowing for an extension and compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Your decision should be communicated to the employee and formally document with a probation completion letter.

3. Review Employment Contract 

If an employee successfully completes probation, it is important to review their employment contract. Take a moment to look over their position description and terms of employment to make sure this all stands true. If you had discussed varying any terms during the performance review meeting, the employment contract will need to be amended.

Moreover, it is worth having a look over the termination clause(s). Your obligations to an employee are different during and after the probation period. By understanding your rights and obligations, you can ensure that you don’t open yourself up to an unfair dismissal claim down the line. 


Hiring the right employees is crucial to the success of any business. Before you decide whether to confirm or terminate an employee’s employment, take the time to review their performance. Consistently engage in open discussions to make sure you are both on the same page and can address any issues early on.

The decision should come as no surprise to the employee and formally documented with a probation completion letter. If you would like further advice before making your decision, get in touch with an employment lawyer.

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