If an employer failed to follow its procedures for employees on probation would a dismissed probationer have any redress?
Giving an employee the status of "probationer" does not give the employer the right to terminate the employee's employment without the employee having any legal recourse. Where it is a term of the employee's contract of employment that the employer will follow a disciplinary or other procedure (such as a redundancy procedure) prior to the employee's dismissal and this is not followed, if the employee can show that conducting the procedure would have taken time and therefore extended the period of employment, he or she will able to claim as damages for breach of contract lost wages for the time that the disciplinary or other procedure would have taken. The limit of damages is the time that it would have taken to pursue the procedure and, in most cases, the compensation awarded tends to be a sum of approximately three to four weeks' pay.
So, if an employer dismisses an employee on probation for conduct reasons without following a contractually binding disciplinary procedure, the employer is at risk of a breach of contract claim for failing to follow its own procedure.
An employee who is on probation is unlikely to have the required length of service to be able to claim unfair dismissal. However, he or she would be able to bring a claim if the dismissal is for an automatically unfair reason, such as pregnancy or whistleblowing.