Probationary employees must be informed of job requirements
"I was hired as a sales marketing specialist on Feb. 18, 2019. I was advised that my probationary period would last for six months. But my supervisor told me last week that I needed to sell 15 cars every week for me to be a regular employee. My manager never informed me of the sales quota when they hired me. Can the company terminate my employment on the ground of poor performance even if I was not informed of the job requirements that I should meet in order for me to be a regular employee?
For your information, the law that addresses your situation is the Labor Code of the Philippines:“Article 296. Probationary employment. Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.” (Emphases supplied)
Book VI, Title I, Section 6 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code also provides:“Section 6. Probationary employment. — xxx
“(d) In all cases involving employees engaged on probationary basis, the employer shall make known to the employee the standards under which he will qualify as a regular employee at the time of his engagement.” (Emphases supplied)The Supreme Court in the case of Armando Aliling vs. Jose B. Feliciano, et al. (GR 185829, April 25 2012), through Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. elucidated:“An employer is entitled to impose productivity standards for its workers, and in fact, non-compliance may be visited with a penalty even more severe than demotion. Thus, the practice of a company in laying off workers because they failed to make the work quota has been recognized in this jurisdiction. xxx the petitioners’ failure to meet the sales quota assigned to each of them constitute a just cause of their dismissal, regardless of the permanent or probationary status of their employment. Failure to observe prescribed standards of work, or to fulfill reasonable work assignments due to inefficiency may constitute just cause for dismissal. Such inefficiency is understood to mean failure to attain work goals or work quotas, either by failing to complete the same within the allotted reasonable period, or by producing unsatisfactory results. This management prerogative of requiring standards may be availed of so long as they are exercised in good faith for the advancement of the employer’s interest.“In fine, an employee’s failure to meet sales or work quotas falls under the concept of gross inefficiency, which in turn is analogous to gross neglect of duty that is a just cause for dismissal xxx. However, in order for the quota imposed to be considered a valid productivity standard and thereby validate a dismissal, management’s prerogative of fixing the quota must be exercised in good faith for the advancement of its interest. xxx Employees must be reminded that while probationary employees do not enjoy permanent status, they enjoy the constitutional protection of security of tenure. They can only be terminated for cause or when they otherwise fail to meet the reasonable standards made known to them by the employer at the time of their engagement.” (Emphases supplied)
Applying the aforementioned law and jurisprudence in your situation, your company cannot terminate your employment on the ground of poor performance. Article 296 of the Labor Code provides that the services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may only be terminated for just or authorized causes or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of the latter’s engagement. It is worthy to note that you were never informed of the job requirements and standards necessary for you to qualify as a regular employee at the time you were hired. Furthermore, the management prerogative of a company in setting job requirements like sales quota must be exercised in good faith. Hence, your company cannot terminate you for failing to meet the job requirements since you were not informed of any requirement at the time the company engaged your services.We find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Thus, the opinion may vary when the facts are changed or further elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Probationary employees must be informed of job requirements"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021