I am an administrative assistant on a probationary status. I understand that the period for this status lasts for six months. I just want to know if it is possible for my employer to terminate me prior to the last day of the six-month period. Do probationary employees have some sort of security of tenure like regular employees?
Probationary employees enjoy security of tenure. This is guaranteed under our law. As provided under Article 281 of the Labor Code of the Philippines in relation to Section 6 (c), Rule I, Book Six of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Labor Code, the services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis can only be terminated for a just cause or when authorized by existing laws, 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.
Accordingly, your employer may terminate your services prior to the last day of your six-month probationary period if you have committed any of the just causes mentioned under Article 282 of the Labor Code, to wit: (a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience to the lawful orders of your employer or his authorized representative in connection with your work; (b) Gross and habitual neglect of your duties; (c) Fraud or willful breach of the trust reposed upon you by your employer or his duly authorized representative; (d) Commission of a crime or offense against the person of your employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and (e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
Your employment may also be terminated within the probationary period for any of these authorized causes: (a) Installation of labor-saving devices; (b) Redundancy; (c) Retrenchment to prevent losses; (d) Closure and cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking; and (e) Disease to which your continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to your health as well as to the health of your co-employees. (Articles 283 and 284, Ibid.)
Nevertheless, we wish to emphasize that procedural due process must be complied with in order to validly terminate the services of a probationary employee. Pursuant to Section 2 (d), Rule I, Book Six of the Labor Code’s IRR, for termination of employment based on just causes, (a) a written notice must be served on the employee specifying the ground/s for termination, and giving him reasonable opportunity within which to explain his side; (b) a hearing or conference must be conducted; and (c) a written notice of termination must also be served on the employee, indicating that upon due consideration of all the circumstances, grounds have been established to justify his termination. For termination due to authorized causes, due process is deemed complied with upon service of a written notice to the employee and the appropriate Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at least 30 days before the effectivity of the termination, specifying the ground or grounds for termination.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org