I am returning to my employer (worked there for almost 10 years and left on good terms with a stellar employment record) after being gone for about 8 years. I am about six weeks short of the probationary period ending, which will reinstate all my past years of experience. I will miss this year's performance bonus on that basis (that my probationary period doesn't end for six weeks). I will get the cost of living adjustment but not the performance pay. Is there precedent for reducing the probationary period? Should I ask for that?

  • 5
    Any reasons you didn't ask for this before starting your probation period? – DarkCygnus May 9 '19 at 22:44
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    How long has it been since you returned to the company? You say you're 6 weeks short of ending the probation period, but we don't know if that period is 8 weeks, 6 months, a full year, or what. Are you hoping for a full share of the annual bonus, or do you think it might be pro-rated to the length of your current employment there? Are you doing the same kind of work now that you did when you were there originally? If the make this exception in your case, will other people see it as unfair? – Caleb May 11 '19 at 15:48

If you have a good professional rapport with your boss you don't need a precedent, you just need to ask. You could by all means explain why you think you should get the bonus.

But on the flipside be prepared for an answer along the lines of: the bonus is for people who put in a whole years work, you've only been back for X weeks and it wouldn't be fair to the others if you got the same bonus as them, sorry. If you get this response you could also expect your rapport to be slightly harmed as your boss might think you have an "entitled" attitude.

Personally I'd just wait for next year.


You should definitely ask but it would be unusual for the probationary period to be shortened.

The probationary period in a company is usually written into a company policy. For an exception to be made, the policy would need to be revised, rewritten, reviewed, approved etc. etc. Unless your company is unusually far-sighted, they won't have allowed for different length of probationary period.

Give it a go, the worst that can happen is they say no, but don't expect a yes.

  • Policy would not need to be rewritten. They only thing that would need to be done is an agreement between the business and the employee. The company is not obliged to follow the policy if an alternative arrangement is agreed upon. – Gregory Currie May 12 '19 at 16:19
  • In my experience of doing exactly this, there was no room for exceptions or caveats. The policy would have had to be rewritten – Dave Gremlin May 14 '19 at 6:46
  • Legally speaking, the business doesn't need to follow the policy. If the business wants to hide behind policy, they can do that. But they can also say no without a policy. (The policy is just a smokescreen) – Gregory Currie May 14 '19 at 7:11
  • It wasn't a matter of legality, it was a matter of passing ISO 9000 audits – Dave Gremlin May 14 '19 at 18:55
  • @DavidGremlin I couldn't possibly imagine how the ISO 9000 standards have anything to do with this. – Gregory Currie May 14 '19 at 23:15

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