An employee was terminated at the end of his probationary period because of his bad smell and his unkempt appearance. Unjustly, do you think? We’ll tell you what it’s all about during the trial period and what makes you stay in a better position.

1. Why probation
2. Arrangements for probation
3. Holidays in the trial period
4. Termination in probation
5. Tips for the trial period

Facts about probation
As a rule, the trial period lasts between three and six months.
The terms and duration of the probationary period must be listed in the employment contract.
In the probationary period, workers may be terminated without giving reasons.
After six months, the normal cancellation protection takes hold.

Why is there a probationary period at all?
If you (finally) have your first employment contract in your pocket, you do not really want to lose it right away. But trial time is to prove yourself first. Although, the HR departments carry out elaborate personnel selection procedures, it is often only in professional practice that the new employee is really fit for the position. The probationary period is therefore a test phase – both for the employer and for the employee.

During the probationary period, the employer can gain an impression as to whether the newly hired employee has the skills and competencies to work successfully in the respective company. The employee, in turn, should use the probationary period to find out whether he would like to work in the company and in the position for an extended period of time. If, for example, false promises were made in the interview, the job can be acknowledged with a good conscience.

Arrangements for probation
What we now have for individual rules in the probationary period, on the duration, on the employment contract, on vacation and on illness, and what you should know, we have summarized in the following  for you.

Duration of the trial period
There is no statutory requirement under which an employment relationship must start with a probationary period. It can therefore be dispensed with completely. In collective agreements, the probationary period is often limited to three months. A trial period of between three and a maximum of six months is generally customary. But here, too, there are exceptions, for example in a very responsible activity.

In the case of vocational training, the probationary period is limited by law to at least one month and not more than three months.

Probation period in the employment contract
In most cases, the probationary period goes directly into an employment contract, provided that neither employer nor employee have a reason to terminate the employment relationship beforehand. Whether this is a temporary or an indefinite employment contract depends on the contract concluded at the beginning of the employment contract.

Another variant is that a fixed-term contract has been concluded for the duration of the probationary period. In this case, a new contract of employment must be established after the agreed probation period, if both parties wish to continue to cooperate. If this is not the case, the employment relationship is terminated at the end of the probationary period or the temporary employment contract.

Illness in probation
The good news first – Your probationary period does not extend by the time of your illness-related absence. The bad news – Illness does not protect you in the probationary period before a termination. As long as your employer does not meet the moral adversity, he can terminate you in case of illness.

Holidays in the trial period
Even in the trial period, you have a right to leave. The exact number of vacation days you can attend is governed by the Federal Law on Holidays. Paragraph 5 states that an employee can also claim one-twelfth of his annual leave per month during the probationary period. This means you can take two days’ leave on a 24-day holiday per year. However, your boss may impose a holiday lock during the probationary period, but this must be anchored in the employment contract. If you are terminated during the probationary period and you still have vacation days, your employer must pay them off. The amount depends on the salary.

Termination in probation
During the probationary period, the employer may terminate the employee without stating reasons, since the statutory protection for the right of dismissal does not yet apply in the probationary period. This means that the termination can also be pronounced on the last day of the probationary period.

Also, the term of notice in the probationary period is shorter than in a fixed employment relationship. In the case of an indefinite employment contract with a three-month probationary period, it is 14 days.

The notice period increases with the affiliation to a company. Only after six months in the job, you have a notice period of one month – after five years it is of two months – after ten years, it is of four months. However, if an employee is dismissed in a enterprise, the legislator must first dismiss employees on probation. Only pregnant women are protected – they cannot be terminated until one month after the birth of the child.

Reasons for termination in the probationary period
Different ideas about the cooperation
Lack of specialist knowledge
Inadequate integration into the workplace
A major reason for the dismissal is a bad working environment for more than half of the employees.

If you quit as an employee in the probationary period, it is important not to throw all the fury. Also, don’t talk badly about the old employer at the next interview. One possible solution – By mutual agreement, the employment relationship can be changed into a project contract, which ends as planned and includes a decent work certificate.

With these tips, you can successfully pass the probation period
In order to successfully pass the probationary period, here are our behavioral tips:
Join the team, but not too exaggerated. For example, go to lunch with your colleagues or stay for a dinner drink.
Do not just wait until you get tasks; show your own initiative and make suggestions.
Do not be smart! Before making any suggestions, you should understand why this or that is done so far.
Ask your colleagues if you can help if you have nothing to do.
Fist rule for jobs with Internet access, first google, then ask colleagues.
Observe how the hierarchical structures and procedures are in the company and the department.
Let yourself be given regular feedback in order to identify possible problems at an early stage.
Respond to criticism in a good manner and do not get irritated; try to reflect yourself self-critically.
Read the experience reports of career starters in your company, then you have in mind what is coming next for you…

Updated: 30/05/2017