Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Probationary Employee Definition:

A new employee who, for a period of time, is being tested to enable the employer to ascertain the suitability of the employee for its purposes.

Related Terms: Employer, Employee

In Mitchell, Justice Van Camp of the Ontario High Court wrote:

"Probationary staff is not defined expressly in the Act, but the term is well understood in business and industry as an employee, who is being tested to enable the employer to ascertain the suitability of the employee for its purposes.

"Probation is a period when the employee may prove that he is suitable for regular employment as a permanent employee and will meet the standards set by the employer."

In U.E., the Ontario labour arbitrator used these words:

"An employee who has the status of being on probation clearly has less job security than an employee who enjoys the status of a permanent employee. One is undergoing a period of testing, demonstration or investigation of his qualifications and suitability for regular employment as a permanent employee, and the other has satisfactorily met the test.

"The standards set by the company are not necessarily confined to standards relating to quality and quantity of production, they may embrace consideration of the employee's character, ability to work in harmony with others, potentiality for advancement and general suitability for retention in the company. Although it is apparent that any employee covered by the agreement can be discharged for cause at anytime, the employment of a probationer may be terminated if, in the judgment of the company prior to the completion of the probationary period, the probationer has failed to meet the standards set by the company and is considered to be not satisfactory."

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