In a recent article - Short-term gain, long-term pain: probation disguised as a fixed-term contract - on Labourwise, Prof Barney Jordaan shows why the idea of a fixed-term contract is not a good solution to getting rid of an employee who does not meet the firm's expectations.
The practice of appointing someone for an apparent fixed term with the (undisclosed) true intention of using the term as a probation period so as to obviate the requirements of the Labour Relations Act can create more problems than it solves. This false sense of security will be blown if it is clear that the employer cannot explain why it was necessary to appoint the person on a fixed term contract when the position is not inherently of such a nature.
Besides, he points out, probation periods are not only permissible in terms of legislation, but are a very useful way of determining whether a new recruit is suitable for the job or not.
Article on Labourwise