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Sacked, not suitable for the role

This question was recently sent to our Workplace Advice Line.
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Sacked, not suitable for the role

Sacked, not suitable for the role

15 February 2021

This question was recently sent to our Workplace Advice Line.

Are we able to say to an employee, their probation termination reason is due to not being suitable or the correct fit for the role?

Q We are looking to dismiss an employee within their probation period. How much information are we required to provide to the individual as the termination reason? Can we simply say, the employee is not suitable for the role?

A  It is always advisable to provide a reason for dismissal.

Whilst it is relatively low risk to terminate an employee during their probation period, it is still advisable to follow a fair process, the company policy and any applicable awards or agreements.

An employee is unable to claim unfair dismissal due to termination within probation however, there are alternative remedies for the dismissal such as adverse action or discrimination.

It is also a good idea to give the employee details of why they weren't successful in the role. For example, they didn't meet specifc requirements of the role as they performed at 60% to target over 3 months. Documenting the process is always recommended.

Best practice is to provide the new employee with feedback during their probation, discuss gaps to target and give them the opportunity to improve if they weren't meeting expectations. Termination during probation should not be a surprise to the employee.

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