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19/04/2008 04:01:10
Re: Termination during extended probation

I was employed from 8 Jan 07 and probabtion was 6 months. Notice during probation was 24 hours, after confirmation was 4 weeks (all written in appointment letter).

Since no news about my confirmation after 6 months, I emailed to my boss (based overseas) on 31 Jul 07 asking about it. He replied by email on 7 Aug 07 saying "..take my mail as the confirmation you requested..". I took it as evidence I was confirmed.

Unfortunately, he changed his mind unexpectedly and extended my probation until 31 Dec 07 with a letter dated 30 Aug 07, citing that my sales and management skills needed improvement based on just one single sales meeting we had on 24 Aug 07. I disputed that but to no avail.

On 27 Nov 2007, he maintained that I did not improve and asked me to resign. I refused to resign and therefore he terminated my employment with immediate effect (I was asked to leave the office immediately) by giving me a termination letter, citing no improvement on my part during the extended probation (despite sales went up significantly vs same period in 2006).

1. Am I considered confirmed in the first place with his email explicitly saying so?

2. Can he reverse his decision by giving me a probation extension letter almost 2 months after the end of my first probation period, and 3 weeks after his email saying I was confirmed? Can employers at liberty to extend probation to the 12th month? Can they terminate employee's service four weeks before the end of extended probabtion?

3. Can he terminate me based on the reason given in the termination letter (despite sales went up significantly as I did my job accordingly by driving/leading the sales team, even closing several large orders myself) and without any warning letter/email from him all this while?

4. They paid me the Dec salary as "good will" but did not pay 13th month bonus (in appointment letter) which they said I was not entitled because I have not yet done a full year of service (no such condition in appointment letter). They also failed to pay 2 days' compensated leave for worked public holidays. Can I claim back these payments?

Note : I am now seeking reinstatement with the help of Industrial Relations Dept.
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KL Siew
19/04/2008 08:00:23
You have taken the correct step by reporting the matter to the Industrial Relations Department. Bring up those queries when the case comes up for discussion at the department, that will be better.
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19/04/2008 16:32:13
Thanks but the IR officer is always trying to be neutral and diplomatic and not give a direct answers to above.

I hope you can give your opinions based on your vast experience. I want to know my chances of success in making a case for unfair dismissal.
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KL Siew
20/04/2008 08:06:22
In my opinion you are still not confirmed. But it does not really matter whether you are confirmed or not confirmed, they must have some good reasons for terminating your service. As you said you have not done anything wrong then you just stand your grounds. Regarding bonus, I am not so sure. You can negotiate for it since they were willing to pay you your Dec salary.

I cannot assess your chances of success without knowing the stories of the other side. The IR officer usually can work something out to settle the matter after talking to both parties.

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