Dismissed in probation without formal feedback

Hey guys,

I am trying to find anything online regarding, if an employee is dismissed in the probationary period for poor performance but no verbal or written warnings were given for the employee to improve. Does the employee have any rights to take legal action?

I know the unfair dismissal requirements is min 6 months and 12 months for small businesses.

Trying to source something out for a friend and she's quite upset she has been dismissed when there were zero signs/feedback she was doing a poor job in their eyes.


  • Not really, it's a probation period. As long as they gave her the required notice period stipulated in contract, it doesn't matter why.

  • No. Probation period it can go both sides too.

  • You can speak to Fair Work ombusman first.they could advice you better then us.

    I would think they have right to terminate the contact for whatever reason during the probation period, but it have to give enough notification.

    • Thanks I told her already to do so.

      I thought maybe there was an example of a poor performance dismissal without feedback can't be legal in a sense. Since if someone just wants to get rid of a person in probation, they just would use poor performance for everyone.

      • I am not sure if it is right or wrong, I am being told by my ex employee that it is like contractor, 2 weeks notice for both end and that is. No other obligation.

  • Not much she can do about it. It's probation after all and the company has decided they didn't want to continue.

    What result does she seek anyway even if she can successfully sue the company? Surely not re-employment? It's an uphill battle with little to gain. Better she moves on and find someplace else that will appreciate her.

    • I understand, I had a chat to her again last night and she was more wanting to be educated on probation dismissal, she doesn't want to fight it at all. Just learn, try be 'smarter' next time but also the double edge sword where feedback from one company may not be relevant in another company.

      • If it helps at all, did she have regular catch up or communication with her manager? Even if performance may not be discussed directly, the managers response/attitude/trust in her work can be indicative. If she did not do this, I highly suggest she incorporates this with her next role.

        • ^^Great advice there. Suggest you pass it on to your friend.

          As a professional, you should always take pride in your work and reputation. That means constantly asking for feedback, criticism, or other ways your manager thinks you can improve. I've had to constantly bug and annoy managers in the past to do this until they let in. Ultimately, many would see it as a good thing.

          There's a growing trend where simply showing up and keeping your head down is no longer enough, and rightfully show. Employees want the best of the bunch, those who are willing to learn and improve at every chance.

  • The employer should've told her lies, told her sweet little lies.

  • Employers can put their employees on a probation period (also known as a probationary period) to assess if employees are suitable for the role and business.

    The whole point of probation is to see if they're a good fit for the company and if either side doesn't like the work or working conditions they are free to leave. Note that not only are employers making sure they made the right decision, the employee should be accessing if they want to continue working there themselves. I would advise her to move on and search for another job.

    • I understand, it's def. a two way street. Though, to my understanding she was doing everything well, she said she met deadlines, manager approved her work, gave feedback how to do things his way etc…. and all of a sudden the "poor performance" dismissal came up out of no where.

  • It could be any reason from a bitchy supervisor to economic downturn such as a pandemic

    • I have a hunch it wasn't due to poor performance, I know her well and she has amazing work ethics. I was dumbfounded on the reason they fired her, I strongly believe it wasn't for 'poor performance'. But employers can use that to dismiss anyone as a cookie cutter reason without the employer having no repercussions.


        It's a probation period. If they don't like her or need her, they don't have to keep employing her. There's nothing she can do about it.

  • If it was a government or highly unionised workplace being dismissed as part of probation is a highly detailed process (impossible to miss the signs of that).

    If it was something more like private sector service industry yeah your friend was probably surge capacity or they just didn't like her.

    • "your friend was probably surge capacity or they just didn't like her."

      Agree, something seemed off with their reason. But we'll never know.

      Thanks for the reply.

      • My son was on probation years ago in a Telstra store (franchise), after two months was told no more.

        Staff told him later that the owner does this all the time and he was around the 10th that year.
        Pretty much every time we walk past that store there’s different staff there apart from a couple of managers.

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