Yes. If an initial probationary period is not sufficient to test the competencies of the probationary employee, a probationary period may be extended by the employer with the appropriate employee notification.
The following reasons are why you could choose to extend an employee’s probation:
You may need more time to assess whether they’re the right person for the job.
The probationary employee may have been absent for a proportion of the probationary period three months on sick leave – not giving them a chance to prove they’re correct for the role.
If the performance of the new employee was poor at the start of probation but is improving towards the end – extending this time gives you more time to make a decision.
If employers want to extend a probation period for a new employee, a probationary period clause must be inserted into the employment contract.
Both parties must agree to the clause when employment commences. This will avoid any conflict when it comes to making the decision to extend probation and improve the employment relationship.
If the probationary period is extended past the legislated time, the employee is still owed notice of termination.