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0127 - Probation

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  1. These guidelines apply to employees on probation, except those employed by the NWT Power Corporation.


  1. Promotion means the appointment of an employee to a new position that is evaluated at a higher pay range than the employee’s former position.
  2. Rejection on Probation of a new employee is termination of employment prior to the expiry of the probation period for misconduct, incompetence or unsuitability.
  3. Rejection on Probation of a promoted or transferred employee is removal of the employee from the new position, and returning the employee to a position similar to the one from which the employee was transferred or promoted.
  4. Standards of General Conduct are accepted forms of performance, activity and behaviour that generally require no set rules to ensure compliance that an individual ought reasonably to have known (e.g., dressing appropriately, treating co-workers and clients with respect).
  5. Standards of Particular Conduct are established work rules or orders set out by the Employer (e.g., taking coffee breaks according to a rotational schedule, seeking advance approval for all absences).
  6. Transfer means the appointment of an employee to a new position that is evaluated within the same pay range as the employee’s former position.
  7. Voluntary Reassignment is when an employee accepts a different position where the maximum rate of pay is less than his/her present rate of pay.


  1. When an employee is first appointed to the public service he/she is placed on probation.
  2. When an employee is transferred, promoted or accepts a voluntary reassignment within the public service, he/she may be placed on probation.
  3. The purpose of a probationary period is to provide the employing department an opportunity to assess the suitability of the employee. The Government is committed to ensuring that employees have an opportunity to learn their job and to succeed.
  4. Employee performance and behaviour is monitored by the supervisor and is expected to contribute toward the achievement of the organization's goals and objectives.  When an employee's performance or behaviour is unsatisfactory, corrective action must be taken.
  5. A probationary employee on initial appointment who is not suitable for the position is rejected before the end of the probationary period.  This means termination from the Government.
  6. A probationary employee on initial appointment may be rejected on probation for misconduct, unsuitability or incompetence.
  7. An employee who is appointed to a position that has the same duties as his/her previous position will not serve an additional probationary period.  This does not apply to casuals.
  8. If an employee does not successfully complete his/her probationary period on transfer or promotion, every reasonable effort is taken to appoint him/her to a position comparable to the one from which he/she was transferred or promoted.
  9. An employee who has been transferred or promoted and who does not successfully complete the probationary period due to misconduct may be terminated for cause.
  10. The manager must inform an employee on probation of the standards of particular conduct that apply in the workplace.
  11. Employees on probation may be disciplined for breaching standards of general conduct or standards of particular conduct. (see Section 701- Employee Discipline).
  12. An employee who is on probation must obtain written authorization from the Deputy Head of the employing department to apply on a GNWT competition.  This is approved only in exceptional circumstances.  The employee must submit the authorization with their resume prior to the closing date of the competition.
  13. Probationary periods are detailed in Collective Agreements and Handbooks.

Authorities and References

Public Service Act
Section 20, Probation
Section 21, Rejection

Public Service Regulations
Section 4, Probation 

Education Act
Section 53 - 54, Notice of Termination, Dismissal

Collective Agreement with UNW
Article 2.01 (y), Probation
Appendix A1.04 – Relief Employees

Collective Agreement with NWTTA
Article 18.02 – 18.06, Probation

Senior Managers' Handbook

Excluded Employees' Handbook