Termination of Probationary Employees

Posted: January 07, 2010 | Last Updated: February 15, 2017

Posted: January 7, 2010

Written by: Benjamin Hecht

Most employers put new employees “on probation” for a set period of time. Often probation is stated to be between 3 and 6 months. The employer’s practice, which may or may not be stated in the employment offer letter, is that if it decides to release the employee while on probation, no notice or payment is required. This is done under the misconception that no notice is required to release a probationary employee.

Under the Manitoba Employment Standards Code, an employee is entitled to notice – or pay in lieu of notice – of one week’s wages after the employee completes 30 days of employment. So, in fact, the term “probation” under the Code really only applies for the first 30 days of employment! Where the employer is federally regulated, under the Canada Labour Code, the probationary period is three months, after which the employee is entitled to two weeks’ notice or pay. These rules would apply unless the employer has “just cause” to release the employee.  The rules are different where there is a Collective Agreement in place.