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Human Resources

Period of Provisional Employment in Regular Clerical/Service Staff Positions (VPBS 167)

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF THE BUSINESS MANAGER AND ASSISTANT TREASURER
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA 47907

June 13, 1980

To: Deans, Directors, Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices, and Regional Campus Chancellors

Re: BUSINESS OFFICE MEMORANDUM NO. 167

Period of Provisional Employment in Regular Clerical/Service Staff Positions

Effective Date: 1 July 1980

BACKGROUND

For several years many employing departments have required newly-hired clerical/service employees to complete a period of provisional or probationary employment. The purpose of this memorandum is to establish a uniform policy throughout the University as to a period of provisional employment for all persons newly hired or newly rehired into regular clerical/service staff positions.

The policy and procedures have been developed by the Personnel Services Advisory Committee and recommended by the Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee. The policy was approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting on 13 June 1980, upon recommendation of the administration.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To provide both the employee and department head/supervisor the opportunity to assess the potential for continuing the employment relationship.
  2. To provide an opportunity for the employee to determine whether the job requirements and the University environment meet his/her expectations.
  3. To afford the department head/supervisor the opportunity to encourage the employee to adjust to the new position, to the persons with whom the employee comes in contact, and to a new work environment.

POLICY

  1. All new hires and rehires who are employed in regular clerical/service positions are required to serve a ninety (90) calendar-day period of provisional employment, except police officers and firefighters who must serve a one-year period. However, if an individual is rehired into the same department where he/she was previously employed, the employing department head may exempt the individual from a period of provisional employment.
  2. New hires and rehires are expected and encouraged to complete a full period of provisional employment prior to requesting a move to another position within the University. However, if an individual moves to another regular clerical/service position prior to completion of the period of provisional employment, he/she will be required to serve a subsequent full period of provisional employment, commencing with the first day of work in the new position.
  3. Immediately prior to the end of the period of provisional employment (approximately ten ( 10) working days), the department head/supervisor will conduct a performance appraisal and inform the employee in writing that:
    1. The period of provisional employment has been completed satisfactorily; OR
    2. The period of provisional employment will be extended; OR The period of provisional employment has not been completed satisfactorily and employment will be terminated on a specified date.

    Under (a) above the employee should be informed that successful completion of the period of provisional employment does not necessarily mean that proficiency has been achieved in all required tasks. It does indicate the employee has demonstrated the potential to master the basic requirements of the job and has displayed acceptable employment characteristics, e. g. punctuality, attendance, work performance, and other job-related characteristics.

    If, under (b) above, an extension of the period of provisional employment is required to evaluate effectively the job performance of the employee, an extended period shall not exceed a time equal to the original provisional period.

  4. The department head/supervisor may terminate an employee during the period of provisional employment if continuation would not be beneficial. If it is decided during or at the end of the period of provisional employment not to continue the employee, the supervisor and/or employee is encouraged to contact the Employment Section of the Department of Personnel Services to determine the possibility of a transfer to other work/environment better suited to the individual's capabilities.
  5. The decision to terminate employment during or at the end of the period of provisional employment is not subject to appeal under the University's Complaint and Grievance Procedure for Biweekly Employees, except when there is an alleged violation of the University's Equal Employment Opportunity or Affirmative Action policies.
  6. An employee will automatically leave provisional status and have full access to the grievance procedure should a department head/supervisor fail to conduct a timely performance appraisal as provided above.
  7. New hires and rehires will be considered for a merit wage increase as outlined under "Procedures " upon:
    1. Satisfactory completion of a full period of provisional employment; AND
    2. Following a performance appraisal conducted prior to the end of the period of provisional employment (normally ten (10) working days); OR
    3. Following a performance appraisal (normally conducted at the end of the first ninety days in the position) when the period of provisional employment has been waived for a rehired employee.
  8. Beginning with their first day of work, all new hires and rehires who are employed in regular clerical/service positions will be eligible for benefits as provided by and in accordance with the University's fringe benefit program.

PROCEDURES

  1. At the beginning of the period of provisional employment, the department head/supervisor will provide the employee with a copy of the policy covering the period of provisional employment, pay scale, and job description. The supervisor will discuss with the employee the details of each as to contents and/or application. In addition, the supervisor will discuss with the employee the supervisor's job performance expectations and related work rule requirements.
  2. Immediately prior to the end of the period of provisional employment the department head/supervisor will conduct a performance appraisal and share the assessment with the employee.
  3. Problems should be identified and addressed by the department head/supervisor as early as possible in order to provide guidance and opportunities for improvement. Department heads/supervisors are encouraged to document all problems which may eventually lead to termination.
  4. After an employee has completed the period of provisional employment satisfactorily, the department head/supervisor should review the employee's wage rate in relation to the wage rates of non-provisional employees within the job class of the same pay level. Also, the merit quality of the employee's performance should be assessed to determine if a merit increase for completion of the period of provisional employment should be granted. This merit increase may not raise the employee's wage rate above the current rate of the lowest paid non-provisional employee at the same pay level, within the job class, who has been employed within the department at least one year and whose work is currently rated as satisfactory; except upon agreement by the department head and the Department of Personnel Services. When a University-wide adjustment in the wage-scale structure occurs during an employee's period of provisional employment, the provisional employee's wage rate may be increased not to exceed the minimum of the appropriate pay level. Upon completion of the period of provisional employment in the new fiscal year, the employee's wage rate should be reviewed and may be adjusted upward in accordance with the guidelines above.

QUESTIONS

Questions concerning the period of provisional employment should be directed to the Department of Personnel Services, Employee Relations Section, for the West Lafayette Campus; or to your Personnel Manager for the Regional Campuses.

C. B. Wise
Business Manager and Assistant Treasurer