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help regarding probation period / work contract breach
2

help regarding probation period / work contract breach

help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
My work contract states that my probation period is 6 months. After probation period completion my salary is also to be revised (increased). Now I am about 7 months since start of work.

During the probation period there is one interim review at 3 months and then final review at 6 months.

During interim review boss filled report that decision is performance is OK so far, decision is employee retention and also verbally told me no need to do final review, same interim review report will serve as final. He said he will send a copy of interim report to me, but never did.

Fast forward, after 7 months of work, salary was not revised. I also assumed I am confirmed in my job, since no notice given otherwise; it was the opposite, I am given long term assignement and projects responsibilities. So far, no final review was done further.

Since salary was not revised, contacted payroll, thought it is admin misunderstanding. They said they were not instructed by Management to increase pay. Went to boss, said could you please take a look at, as there is % salary increase due.

Boss said, we still need to make final review on decision of probation period (despite 6 months having revolved). I said Boss do I have to assume probation period is not completed yet? He said it is completed but yet my final decision is pending, whatever that is. He said that he did not schedule review during 6 months period, on ground that it did fall during vacation time, stating this is not an excused but reality. BTW, Boss is licensed professional engineer.

I think there is breach of labour law. Would you be so kind to give me orientations?

Do I have to stick to two weeks notice if I resign.

Thanks

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Maybe you have a case, but take the high road. You may have caught the boss unaware of this clause, and this could be "one of those guys" who can't make a mistake. Now that you've been brushed off, make your next requests in writing.

Good thing you noticed it now. Does the contract wording state that the % increase is granted "after the 6-month probation review", or "after 6 months"? Words matter on contracts.

I would go back to HR with the contract in your hand (the copy that has your boss's signature on it) and show them the details. You don't have to get your boss involved if HR can fix this with payroll themselves (they may have that much control). If not, at least make a friend and advocate for your case in HR. If they defer to your boss, and the boss drags his feet for a few more weeks, you can reconsider escalating the issue. But first consider a written request to your boss that says the same as before but also advises that the matter should be brought to the attention of HIS supervisor. Since that's an escalation that makes "some guys" uncomfortable, give him a reasonable amount of time before getting him all worked up (but no more than a week or so, that's ridiculous). And ask for the correction to be retroactive.

Similar thing happened to me, but my boss at the time just forgot (it was March 2020 after all) but we got it fixed with back-pay owed.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
WindWright,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

The contract said: "your base annual salary will be revised to xxxx $/year after successful completion of your probation period."

A little above there is a clause that define probation period:
"In the course of the next 6 months, the company will evaluate your performance and determine whether you possess the skills and competence required for the job"

The issue is salary but not only, it is the fact that now boss is putting again the decision on the table regarding probation period and he is doing so outside of the 6 months period per contract. I do not think this is innocent and trust is damaged at this point from my side. No feedback received on probation period should equate confirmation on the job.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Is it an option to escalate to Ombudsman ? I do not trust HR very much.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

How you handle it depends on what type of person you are and whether you want the job. You never actually *have* to serve a notice period, but there can be consequences ranging from the company refusing to give you a reference (quite reasonable), to them taking some legal action against you (seems unlikely in the current situation).

I don't know your company, but some managers are quite casual. They've landed in management with little training, on the back of being senior engineers. I think you need to remind your manager that your pay is linked to your 'graduation' from probation, so he can't let it drag out. How he responds will be a good hint on whether you stay. It sounds like you should easily get the raise confirmed within a week, or otherwise know you need to leave. Keep it informal; don't wave the contract at them as your first move. They won't want you if you do that.

Also, read the contact with fresh eyes. You quoted what you said is the definition of the probation period, but the phrase 'probation period' wasn't there. Maybe the probation period isn't clearly defined. If not, another reason not to go in as the 'legal guy' if you're not an expert.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

comp guy,

I think your best actions are
1) Calm down a bit. I don't know if this is your first job or not, but general admin incompetence is unfortunately common practice in many firms and the next one you join could be a lot worse.
2) Your best point of contact IMHO, is HR / personnel and ask them to expedite the formal 6 month review.
3) So long as this happens within the next few weeks ( i.e. before 7 months), then just accept this, take the pay increase and move on.
4) If the formal paperwork is not completed in 7 months, then approach HR again and say you think this is unfair, that you did everything that was expected of you and now, simply because the manager hasn't completed the paperwork which he has verbally assured you that you have passed your probationary period, you have lost out $xxx due to a delay which is out of your hands and therefore would expect to see this increase back dated. Good luck with that.
5) Realise that life sucks sometimes, but being seen as a source of "trouble" will do you more longer term harm than any benefit you get from one months increase in salary. Life in engineering firms is as much about compatibility and personal relationships as it is about technical excellence. Moaning to your boss about what he sees as annoying paperwork isn't going to do you any good. Let him be moaned at by HR instead - that's what they are supposed to be there for.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Thanks steveh49

quoted
Also, read the contact with fresh eyes. You quoted what you said is the definition of the probation period, but the phrase 'probation period' wasn't there. Maybe the probation period isn't clearly defined. If not, another reason not to go in as the 'legal guy' if you're not an expert.
unquoted

the phrase "probation period" was there in fact, I am quoting the complete clause:

QUOTE
Probation Period:
"In the course of the next 6 months, the company will evaluate your performance and determine whether you possess the skills and competence required for the job".
UNQUOTE

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Hi LittleInch.

Thank you. The salary issue I raised was more for the principle, honestly I am in no hurry for the pay increase.
I did not intend to involve the boss or make noises about it. I thought it is something wrong with the payroll dept. But that led me to discover something I did not expect in the fact that I took for granted that my probation period was completed soon after 6 months revolved. Apparently something else was going on.

My gut feeling is that the boss wants to end my job or make a disguised threat. In other words, bringing the fact that an official review is needed is not a problem, even though it is late and reflects badly on how procedures are adhered to (I get that nowadays, it is an endemic problem and sense of integrity is not what its used to be, at least it is not what it used to be one or two decades back), BUT him saying that "probation period is completed but yet my final decision is pending, whatever that is". It is the "whatever that is" that sends me a completely different signal.

I hope you understand where I am coming from.
Thanks for giving me a more general perspective it helps me.
Its not my first job, and honestly was used to a much better standard at former companies in terms of "rule of law".

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Ok, you're in a strong position. It does seem like they're in breach, but I wouldn't use that word until you've decided you're happy to leave if it comes down to it - too contractual, likely to hamper progression in this company if you go that way.

I would personally go to the boss rather than HR if you think the boss is playing games. There's a limit to how many times you can run to HR to sort out issues, and issues will just keep cropping up if the boss has some problem with you, especially if you appear too weak to stand up for yourself. Best to 'have it out' without revealing that's what you're doing, in case the boss is in fact just running late and there's no underlying issue.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

OK, it looks like you're being given mixed messages.

Three month review Ok, same report will suffice for the final one.

Now "still need to make the final review" and the "whatever it is" comment.

Sometimes people think that keeping a bit of a "stick" approach encourages better performance. Either way you need to get some resolution of this and it gets difficult to badger your superior more than once or twice without becoming annoying to him.

Hence my approach to talk to HR first and get them to be the annoying person.....

The longer term question is whether this sort of approach is specific to the person or endemic in the company. The first is just unfortunate (for you), the second maybe colours your long term approach.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Agreed Little Inch.

It seems to me the situation is endemic in the company. I think the environment is a bit broken, but honestly the breach of contract is not tasty because (and that is a personal stand) it is dear to my heart that the rule of law applies (I mean at large, in anything in life). So there is kind of moderation to keep in mind and taking distance to the problem, but yes, in this respect it hurts.

Boss said to me during another general discussion (not related to this issue) he is a procedural person. Well...

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Could be trying to keep department costs down?

Address it directly. Contract gave this schedule, so you expect it to be followed.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
It is possible but it is relatively minor compensation increase.
But who knows the motivation.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Everything is a breach or crime with you. I'd let you go.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Maybe the final test is to see how he addresses this problem. ponder

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

I would simply write HR a short note stating that "the six month period for probation has passed; can you please advise me of how my work has been evaluated, and is there a manner in which I can improve it?" pipe

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
TheTick,

"Everything is a breach or crime with you. I'd let you go."

A contract is a contract and it has to be adhered to. When not then it is a breach. What part of it do you not understand?

Where did you see me complaining about "everything"? was my complaint not specific and to the point?

So how come do you feel untitled to just drop a sentence or two.

Be sure, it does not say anything about me, it says a lot about our times.

Appreciate you sir.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Hi Dik,

"Maybe the final test is to see how he addresses this problem."

I spoke with HR as I decided I won't let this go. I did just say to HR, sorry but this is the clause and situation and the handling of it concerns me. They looked again at the contract and said that this needs a follow up and what they will do now is escalation to HR manager.

I did not speak to boss anymore on this point. I will just wait and see how he will be handling it.

This was the latest update!

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

OK sounds like progress. Don't rush it, but don't drop it. Optimistically, one manager may talk to the other manager and sort it out with no more input from you. Next week, if you don't get any news, slide a request for an update into the water-cooler chit-chat.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Exactly. Thank you.

Sorry for bothering you again, but what is your interpretation of the "whatever that is"

Exp.: "I have yet to officialize the decision, whatever that is."

I understand that a decision of successful completion of probation period is not made yet.

How do you understand it?

Thanks again for the help!

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Without knowing your manager or having heard the conversation, there is no plausible way to interpret the remark; it could be an admission of not having made a decision to having made a decision against you that he's not ready to announce yet.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Thanks IRstuff.

If we assume that all of this should have been sorted out within probation period hall mark, do you think it is proper (ethically?/legally?) to state a remark as such, as open to interpretation as it is?

To give you some context, I was assigned to work on long term projects by the end of probation period; in addition, during the interim review meeting, half way through probation period, I was given goals and objectives for year to go.

Please indulge my insistance. I am asking for more input, as I read through forum your posts (as well of others) and I am aware that you are a very experienced member. So, your input is valuable in that it helps me become a bit more empowered to face any internal conversation and to defend myself.

Thank you

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
I have a permanent work contract (open ended). Since I am still employed, and probation period revolved since some while, what is my status with respect to code of labor :

(1) permanent employee confirmed
(2) permanent employee still under probation (outside contract terms)
(3) other status, if so which one and is it legal

ponderponder

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

It all depends on what country you are in and local laws, etc.

Have you bothered to talk to your peers at the company to find out what the typical process is in this company/country?

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

It's basically somewhere between 1 and 2.

In THEORY it's no 1 as more than 6 months has passed, they haven't said no thanks and they are still paying you.

The manager probably thinks it's no 2...

HR should be sorting it out.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

LI... concur...

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Country is Canada, sorry for omitting this info.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
SWComposites,

Have you bothered to talk to your peers at the company to find out what the typical process is in this company/country?


To be honest not really. I did not "socialize" as much as I wanted; basically most work is done from home. What was basically a temporary measure during lock down, has become the rule or new standard and I feel its hard for management to try and reverse it! Office is kind of empty. I understand the WFH approach, but its kind of weird as I am a bit old fashion. I like the body language and all things that are shared or conveyed through face to face / in person meetings. But again, I do not complain about it, it is what it is. Let's say that working remotely is just not my preference. I like for instance so very much sharing a cubicle with colleagues I get along with and sometime speak about anything, and the "hey, shall we go for a coffee"!

Guys, sorry here for my long long drift :)

But ok, this should not be an excuse for me, and there is also way to trigger the subject, like over Teams etc. I can always try, its a good point. Its also who do you trust... still kind of doable.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Sounds like your manager is a scumbag. Good leaders never let themselves become petty, and jerking employees around on pay and position is the lowest form of pettiness. If he forgot or otherwise made a mistake that put you in this situation then he should've had HR jumping to correct the error. JMO but it sounds like you're taking the correct approach by contacting HR to investigate and document the issue.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
What if, HR are not very honest (I do not know!!) and them together with Boss had had side talks and would just protect themselves and just play politics.. not necessarily according to "the Spirit and the Letter" ? what are my options?

I may be just overthinking it or simply loosing my mind!
Please indulge. Thank you.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

You have two options
> stay the course and remain underpaid indefinitely
> continue raising the issue until you get fired or quit on your own

Nothing anyone here says or does can change those two options.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
IRstuff,

First off, thanks for sort of narrowing down the issues.

I am interested to know your thought process by which you arrived at this (which is kind of dilemma, or dead end - if you agree)?
Not saying its wrong, but If you are keen to elaborate, for example what makes you think I remain get paid indefinitely, how raising legitimate issues gets one fired etc., again you are certainly pertinent, interested to know the contours of your reasoning. Please.

Thanks ;)

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Your boss has either made an honest mistake, or he's jerking you around. If it's an honest mistake, he should be able and willing to work to fix it when you bring it up to him. If he's jerking you around, you should quit anyway.

You have a contract, great. That doesn't mean that violating it is a violation of the law in a criminal sense. It just means they went back on their word. If what they're doing isn't a labor law violation (I'm not a lawyer and I don't live in Canada, so I don't know if it is or not), then the only recourse is typically civil litigation. So to enforce it, you have to have the means to sue them and survive without a job (or suffer through a really hostile work environment) while the suit is ongoing. Maybe you can find another job while the suit moves through the courts - not that I want to be the one explaining to my new boss that I need time off to sue my old boss. Usually doesn't look great. Either way, this is an expensive path and you may or may not be able to recoup those costs.

If it is illegal, which I doubt, then you can report it to whatever government body enforces those laws in your city or province. The investigation will likely take time. Once again, you're stuck in an unenviable situation.

So back to my first line - if they made a mistake, get it corrected. If they are attempting to exploit you, quit. If you feel that the work culture doesn't allow you to speak to your boss, or HR, or that it is overwhelming you and demeaning you...quit. Life's too short to be beholden to your employer. Find one that values you for the skills you have, the skills you can learn, and the value you can add over the course of your employment. They should show what that value means to them through attentiveness to employee/HR issues, competitive salary, good benefits, and a positive and empowering work culture. Might take some time to find the right one, but there's probably one out there for you. And if not, start making one.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
phamENG,

Thank you so much. By the way, Kudos to you because you have a healthy mindset.

I do not know the labor law in details, but from the little I read about it, in the province where I live, an employee have little to no protection (apart from recourse to civil litigation) when 2 years of service have not been completed. So I have no expectation in this respect.

Certainly getting rid of an employee on ground of failing their probation period is way more easy than to fire him soon after he would have been confirmed as permanent. On the one hand and to some extent, this would resonate as an acknowledgment by the employer that they failed to evaluate the employee properly thought the relevant procedure and assigned timeline which is awkward, well kind of. On the other hand, firing a confirmed employee is perfectly doable however this would normally require to go through the disciplinary action route; not always but I know the company has a focus on employee retention.

So maybe my last question before I wrap up the case,

In case I am called to attend the probation review meeting, maybe demeaned and concluded as not satisfactory for the job, do I have to acknowledge / sign the final review report? I have seen one and I know it is to be signed by employer and employee. What do you suggest?

Keeping in mind this can only be a honest mistake to.

I am shy to bother you again. I do not share these worries with my family/relatives to not stress them, at least not speaking up at this point. So I am asking here kindly for support.

Many thanks

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Quote:

what makes you think I remain get paid indefinitely

Indefinitely means no obvious end point; since your boos basically blew you off, he's fine with paying you a fraction of what he's supposed to be paying you. This should be pretty obvious to anyone, including you. The proper response from him should have been, "Ooops, we screwed up; I'll go and fix this immediately." He either hates you, but not enough to fire you, and not enough to not pay you a smaller salary, or, he's a moron that you shouldn't be working for anyway

[quote how raising legitimate issues gets one fired etc.[/quote]

They're either going to fix the problem, but they've shown no inclination to do so, and constantly reminding them that they are in breach of contract will annoying enough that they would fix it, and give you back pay, or they fire you for incompatibility with company culture, blah, blah.

This is all pretty obvious, even to you, so it seems to me that you are asking simply to stall for time from doing the inevitable.


One option, to push it, is to casually mention to your boss that you've started looking for other jobs, since you cannot continue at the pay you currently are being paid. Of course, you need to be ready for them calling your bluff, since it really ought not be a bluff at all.


TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
Ok IRstuff, noted, thanks a lot.

Quote (IRstuff)

One option, to push it, is to casually mention to your boss that you've started looking for other jobs, since you cannot continue at the pay you currently are being paid. Of course, you need to be ready for them calling your bluff, since it really ought not be a bluff at all.

Food for thought... thank you...

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

I think part of what you are experiencing is the reality of remote working at a large company. You are an entity without a face or personality and they seem to be taking advantage of you. I suggest a more assertive approach. In general, we engineers are not great at dealing with conflicts. I would stop trying to read minds and get them to confirm what about your work is deficient, or why you are still on probation? This needs to be in person with your manager or HR.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Going back to the start of this, you are only one month late and it is August.

I always tend to go with the incompetence option....

Basically a contract of employment is exactly that, a contract. So long as the contract doesn't include things which are contrary to legislation, the enforcement of the contract from either party is a civil matter.

It will contain clauses about dispute resolution which you need to look up.

But life isn't perfect and there is only so much you can do. But I think you're in danger of over inflating what could just be incompetence or a lack of time to complete what your boss probably thinks is annoying administration which is getting in the way of "real" work....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Quote:

But I think you're in danger of over inflating what could just be incompetence or a lack of time to complete what your boss probably thinks is annoying administration which is getting in the way of "real" work....

Regardless of that, the OP is already one month into grossly underpaid territory, so it's not a "no-harm, no-foul situation"

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Well we don't know how much this uplift is.

10%?
If it's >30% then OK, grossly is a good description.

Then it becomes an argument over back pay once the report is finally written or agreed as being reached.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

(OP)
As an update:

To my big surprise, HR made significant impact and was very receptive to my case, also very genuinely so.
I do not know the exact content of conversation between HR / boss, but 100% confident they have pointed that the approach undertaken is not proper and that they disagreed with the treatment. The bossed called for a review meeting and during that meeting sort of fixed everything and advised that back payment will be made. For sure HR kept things on track, but was a hell of a ride.

As a result, I got confirmed in my position and I have more leeway now to start polishing my resume (effective immediately!).

Guys, thank you so very much for your assistance during the process.
It kept me on track too, avoiding making a "faux pas", taking inadequate communication routes, etc.

Thank you really.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Congrats on the confirmation. Working for large companies (particularly those with dedicated HR departments that look out for thee employees) does have its advantages. Best of luck with the rest of your career.

RE: help regarding probation period / work contract breach

Thanks for the update. Sometimes the system works in your favour!

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

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