The employee was employed with the company on May 3, 2007 as a probationer for six months. She was fully aware of the provision in the Company’s Handbook which stated that the employee was deemed to remain a probationer before receiving notification by formal letter regarding confirmation.
The company extended the probation period twice due to the employee’s poor performance. There was a series of communication by emails between the direct supervisor and the employee regarding her performance, which was not up to expectation.
Furthermore, during the probationary period the employee was constantly advised, guided and corrected by her superior. After 18 months, the company terminated the employee’s services by not confirming her.
The employee contended that the company did not bother to take any action when the HR Manager forwarded her a copy of staff performance, which meant that the company was not notified whether the employee was confirmed or not. The employee further contended that she was deemed to be a confirmed employee when there was no response from the company regarding the confirmation after the employee made an enquiry.
Furthermore, the employee claimed that the company approved her vacation leave as if she was a confirmed employee. The company contended that the employee and the company had discussed and advised the employee as regard to her work. Furthermore, the employee was constantly advised, guided and corrected by her superior.
The company contended that only a confirmed employee was entitled to pro-rated leave but used its discretion as the employee already purchased a flight ticket for holiday.
There were three main issues that arose before the court
* Whether the employee is a probationer or confirmed employee.
* Whether the poor performance constitutes just cause or excuse for the employee’s non-confirmation.
* Whether the employee’s dismissal was with just cause or excuse.