1. What Is the Probation Period?
The probation period is an initial stage of the employment relationship where both the employer and the employee can terminate the contract without notice, justification, or compensation. This clause, set out in writing in the contract, allows both parties to assess whether the initial expectations match the actual work environment.
2. Key Features of the Probation Period
- It is not a type of contract itself, but a clause or agreement attached to any kind of employment contract.
Following the labor reform of December 2021, training contracts and internships of one month maximum no longer have a probation period.
3. What You Need to Know about the Probation Period
Optional Establishment: Probation period is established in writing in the contract, and if not mentioned, there is no probation period, even if the collective agreement contemplates it.
Maximum Duration: The maximum duration of the probation period is set in the collective agreements, not exceeding six months for qualified technicians and two months for other workers. In companies with less than 25 employees, this period is three months for non-technicians.
Nullity in Certain Cases: The probation period agreement is null if the employee has already performed the same functions in the company previously under any type of contract.
4. Rights and Obligations During the Probation Period
During the probation period, the employee maintains the same rights and obligations as if they were permanent staff, except those derived from the termination of the employment relationship.
Termination by the employer is null and void during pregnancy or maternity, unless there are other reasons not related to these conditions.
The time of the probation period is counted towards seniority.
5. Interruption of the Count
- Situations such as temporary incapacity, birth, adoption, etc., affecting the worker during the probation period, interrupt its count, with agreement between the parties.
6. Special Regulations
- Some special employment relationships have specific maximum durations for the probation period, such as household staff (two months), senior management (nine months), or professional athletes (three months).
Understanding the nuances of the probation period is essential for both employers and employees. This initial phase provides an opportunity to evaluate the suitability of the employment relationship while requiring transparency and agreement between the parties to avoid potential conflicts. With the correct information, both companies and workers can successfully manage this crucial stage.