Bill to extend probationary employment to 2 years garners mixed reactions

SOME Cebuanos expressed mixed opinions on a proposed House bill that would extend the maximum prescribed period of probationary employment from six months to two years.

House Bill 4802, authored by Probinsyano Ako party-list Rep. Jose Singson Jr., aims to extend the maximum prescribed period of probationary employment to 24 months, claiming that the current six-month period is insufficient for some employers to determine whether a probationary employee is qualified for regular employment.

Krys Ellaisa Grava, a human resource (HR) specialist, said she understands that not all employees learn and master necessary skills needed for a specific job in the span of six months, but extending the probationary period to two years is “too long.”

“The purpose of this bill will be defeated when employees would feel demotivated and perform poorly on their job instead of the other way around. Regularization, more than just the salary increase, is a recognition and a way to make employees feel valued, essentially promoting loyalty in the company,” Grava told SunStar Cebu.

Grava said the gap on skills and knowledge is usually solved nowadays by continuous training and seminars.

Derwin Crisologo Jr., HR for employee relations, labor relations, and talent management of a shipping company, said it would be better if the companies would just offer improved metrics or methods in assessing employee performance as the proposed bill, if passed into law, could be prone to abuse.

“Under probationary period, an employee is not entitled to benefits such as promotion, salary increase and other benefits. The proposed bill would mean the security of tenure would come only after two years? But it’s the basic right of an employee. In that case, there could be scenarios when employers could just terminate an employee right away, as some companies do not observe due process during the probationary period,” Crisologo said.

But Gresila Alburo, a college instructor for 11 years, said she understands the reason for the proposal.

“The six-month period is too short to determine the capability of an employee for a job. Also, the employer must take into consideration the behavior of an employee as it is believed that employers don’t hire skills. Instead, they hire character. A longer probationary period would give the employer ample time in determining the employee’s behavior,” she said. (WBS)


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