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Probationary period

A probationary period is a separately agreed period starting from the start of work, during which the employer has the opportunity to examine your professional skills and your suitability for the job and the work community. For your part, you can find out whether the work and working conditions correspond to the impression you got when you signed the employment contract.
During the probationary period, both you and your employer have the right to terminate the employment contract on reasonable grounds without notice.

Frequently asked questions about probationary periods

According to the Employment Contracts Act, the probationary period must always be agreed on separately. Both contracting parties must be aware of the agreed probationary period and its terms. The burden of proof lies with the contracting party invoking the probationary period.

The contract can be made either in writing, orally or electronically. In order to avoid unclear situations, the probationary period should be agreed upon in writing in the employment contract. The probationary period cannot begin before work begins and you can no longer agree upon it once the work has begun

The length of the probationary period depends on what is agreed. It often follows the maximum periods defined by law, but the probationary period can be shorter upon agreement. If the collective agreement binding the employer imposes a probationary period, the employer must announce its application when signing the employment contract in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act.

According to the Employment Contracts Act, the employee and the employer can agree on a probationary period of up to six months. If the employer provides the employee with special work-related training that lasts more than six continuous months, the probationary period can be no more than six months. However, regular job orientation cannot be regarded as this type of training.

As a rule, the probationary period can only take place at the beginning of your employment relationship. If employment contracts that are almost back-to-back relate to the same or similar tasks, you cannot have a probationary period when the new employment relationship begins.

If your tasks change substantially, it is possible to agree on a probationary period during the employment relationship. In this case, the probationary period does not allow termination of the employment contract. If you are deemed unsuitable to continue in the new position, you have the right to return to your previous tasks. Check your sector’s collective agreement for any provisions related to the use of probationary periods.

During the probationary period, your employment contract can be terminated on the basis of the probationary period. Period of notice does not apply then. The employment relationship ends immediately on the same day that either you or your employer declares that they will use the probationary period clause as a reason for terminating the employment. At the time of termination of the employment contract, you or the employer do not have to state any grounds for terminating the employment relationship other than the existence of the probationary period.

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