Probation Period

When it comes to HR, recruitment and hiring can be a major process. From job postings to interviews, and selecting from a handful of top candidates, it could take anywhere from three weeks to three months to hire a new employee. With all these efforts, employers may want to set a probation period. This allows you to evaluate if the recruit is a good fit and, if not, terminate the contract.

What is a probation period?

In terms of employment, a probation period allows employers to try out job candidates for a short period of time before making them a permanent hire. This can provide employers with protection from poor hiring choices. It offers an initial opportunity for employees to go above and beyond to prove their capabilities and exceed expectations. On the other hand, it also gives the employee a chance to get comfortable with the workplace culture and decide if the environment is right for them.

Probation Period Insights for Employers

If you include a trial period for new employees, there are two factors you should consider:

  1. Length of probation
  2. Agreement in writing

First, there is no formal legislation that covers probation periods. However, as an employer, you must pay close attention to the Employment Standards in your company’s province. There are labour laws surrounding terminations and temporary layoffs that affect for how long you can set a probation period.

Second, if you include a probation period, you must put it in writing. In doing so, you clearly state that the employment is probationary and specify the length of the probation. Another aspect to include is a statement regarding the ability to terminate and the reasons for doing so.


If you have questions about setting a probation period for new employees, ask an HR expert from Employer Line. Our dedicated advice line is free for business owners to call anytime: 1 (833) 247-3650.