Probation

Probation

13. PROBATION

Application

13.1   This clause will apply to Staff Members who commence employment with the University on or after the date of commencement of this Agreement. If a Staff Member is subject to a probationary period under clause 3.6 of the Macquarie University Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2015 at the date of commencement of this Agreement, that process will continue to apply.

Probationary period

13.2   On commencement of either continuing or fixed-term employment a Staff Member may be subject to a probationary period of up to 12-months. The length of the probationary period should be appropriate to the nature of the work being undertaken.

13.3   Probation may be considered, but usually will not apply, in the case of a second or subsequent continuing appointment. A second or subsequent fixed‑term appointment to the same position or to an essentially similar position will not contain a probationary period. Probation will not apply in cases of Secondment or transfer.

13.3   If an assessment of performance cannot be made due to a Staff Member taking a period of approved leave other than annual leave (e.g. leave without pay, personal leave, parental leave) that is greater than 4 weeks then the end date for probation may be extended. The Director, Human Resources, on a recommendation from the Manager, may approve to adjust the probationary period to provide the Staff Member with a total probation period equivalent to that specified in the instrument of appointment.

Setting performance expectations during the probationary period

13.4   Within 1 month of a Staff Member’s commencement of employment, the Supervisor and the Staff Member will meet to discuss the standard of performance that is to be met during the probationary period.

13.5   The Supervisor will hold review meetings with the Staff Member throughout the probationary period at intervals appropriate to the nature of the work being undertaken and the length of the probationary period. Where there is a probationary period of greater than 3 months the Supervisor will conduct a review halfway through the nominated period.

13.6  The Supervisor will use the University's Performance Development and Review process to guide probation review meetings.

Reviewing performance during probationary period

13.7  The Supervisor will provide regular feedback to the Staff Member during the probationary period and hold review meetings. These meetings will provide an opportunity for the Supervisor to discuss the Staff Member’s progress including, if necessary, identifying and addressing any performance concerns.

13.8   If the Supervisor identifies performance concerns, then the Staff Member will be given an opportunity to address these concerns. The Supervisor will document feedback provided and improvement requirements and provide a copy to the Staff Member.

Probation outcomes

13.9   The Supervisor will undertake a final probation review meeting and advise the Staff Member of their recommendation on the outcome of the probation process no later than 1 month prior to the expiration of the probationary period. The review will be done in accordance with the University’s Performance Development and Review process. The Supervisor may:

(a)   make a recommendation that the Staff Member is confirmed in the position. In these circumstances, the Supervisor will forward a written report to the Manager for approval; or

(b)   if performance or conduct concerns have been identified but not resolved, the Supervisor may make a recommendation to terminate the Staff Member’s employment during the probationary period, provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) compliance with sub-clause 13.5; and

(ii) if the concerns relate to performance, the Staff Member has served at least half of probationary period in order to have had a reasonable period to demonstrate performance.

13.10  The Supervisor will provide a written report to the Manager setting out the reasons for the recommendation to terminate employment. Any response from the Staff Member will also be forwarded to the Manager for consideration.

13.11   The Manager will review the recommendation report and make a final determination.

Notice periods

13.12   If the Staff Member’s employment is terminated within probation, the Staff Member will be entitled to notice (or payment in lieu) in accordance with the table below:

Length of appointment and probationary period

Period of Notice (or payment in lieu)

Fixed-term appointment of 1 year or less

The lesser of 1 month or to the end of the fixed-term appointment

Continuing appointment or fixed-term appointment of more than 1 year where the probationary period is less than or equal to 6 months

2 months

Continuing appointment or fixed-term appointment of more than 1 year where the probationary period is greater than 6 months

4 months

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