I was originally engaged by my employer as a probationary employee. A week after the lapse of my six-month probationary employment, I was given a letter by the company dated exactly on my 6th month of employment that I did not pass the company standards to become a regular employee. I was not informed of the standards for qualification for regularization in the company at the onset of my employment. I also received the termination letter a week after it was dated. Hence, I received it with reservations as I stamped the date of my receipt of the letter. Do I have a right to question my termination?
For your information, under Article 281 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, it is stated that a probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from its inception. Hence, an employee who is allowed to report for work after the lapse of six (6) months shall be considered as regular employee. The provision states:
Art. 281. Probationary Employment. – Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after probationary period shall be considered a regular employee. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, if after the lapse of six (6) months reckoned from the commencement of your work your employment has not yet been terminated, then your employment status will, by operation of law, change to regular status. Nevertheless, your employer may terminate your employment, at anytime prior the lapse of your probationary period, for a just cause, or when you fail to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with their reasonable standards, made known to you upon your engagement with them.
In your case, you alleged that they did not apprise you of the qualifications for regularization and that their notice of the termination of your probationary employment came in a week after your 6th month of employment with them. Considering these, you may have the right to enforce your right before the National Labor Relations Commission given the above premises.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com