How long should a probationary period be?

A quick insight into probationary periods around the world.

A sand timer next to a calendar.

If you’re preparing to onboard a new Team Member, you’ll need to know the details of probationary periods in the country where they’re based. This guide will give you a quick insight into what you need to know depending on the country the Team Member is being hired in. 

What are probationary periods?

A probationary period is an amount of time during the start of an employee’s tenure when they’re working on a trial basis. This means that they’re being assessed to determine if they meet the criteria of the job role and whether or not their contract will continue beyond the period of probation. 

Generally speaking, it’s easier for either party to terminate the employment during the probation period because of the shorter notice periods required, or in some countries no notice periods at all.

Looking for specific details on how to hire around the world? Check out our hiring guides. (There are over 50!).

Do all countries have probationary periods?

Not all countries have identical probationary periods. Both their length and the rules around them vary greatly from country to country. Some countries, like Belgium and Chile, do not allow probation periods by law, whereas others impose probationary periods by law.

The term of the probation period can also depend on job level and seniority. For example, in France the maximum probation period for office workers is two months and for executives it’s four months.

How long should you make probation periods for your international Team Members?

To help you get probation periods right in the countries where you hire, here’s a list of national requirements for guidance. Note that this list is intended only as a guide and you should check with an employment law expert before you take action on this information.

Probation periods in countries around the world

Here's an overview of the maximum probation periods in some countries around the world:

  • Argentina: Three months.
  • Australia: Six months for organizations of more than 15 employees. One year for organizations of fewer than 15 employees.
  • Austria: One month.
  • Belarus: Three months.
  • Belgium: No probation period.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Six months.
  • Brazil: 45 days, but can be extended to 90 days.
  • Bulgaria: Six months.
  • Canada: Three months.
  • Chile:No probation period.
  • Colombia: Two months, or 1/5th of the employment term for fixed-term contracts.
  • Costa Rica: Three months.
  • Croatia: Six months.
  • Denmark: Three months.
  • Egypt: Three months.
  • Estonia: Four months.
  • Finland: Six months.
  • France: Varied dependant on the type of contract and professional category of the worker.
  • Germany: Four months.
  • Greece: 12 months.
  • Hungary: Three months.
  • India: Varied by industry but usually between three and six months.
  • Ireland: Usually three months, but can be longer in certain cases.
  • Israel: Varied dependant on the employment contract, but usually between one and twelve months.
  • Italy: Six months for managers and three months for non-managers.
  • Japan: Varied but usually between three and six months.
  • Kenya: Six months.
  • Latvia: Three months.
  • Lebanon: Three months.
  • Lithuania: No legal requirement but commonly three months.
  • Malaysia: No probation period.
  • Mexico: Six months.
  • New Zealand: Six months.
  • Nigeria: No probation period.
  • Norway: Six months.
  • Peru: Three months.
  • Poland: Three months.
  • Portugal: Three months for most workers, but can be up to eight months for more senior roles.
  • Romania: Three months for most workers, but can be up to four months for more senior roles.
  • Russia: Three months for most workers, but can be up to six months for more senior roles.
  • Serbia: Six months.
  • Singapore: Optional, but three to six months is common.
  • South Africa: Three months.
  • South Korea: Three months.
  • Spain: Two months for most workers, but can be up to six months for more senior roles.
  • Sweden: Six months.
  • Switzerland: Three months, with a minimum of one month.
  • Taiwan: Three months.
  • The Czech Republic: Three months for most workers, but can be up to six months for more senior roles.
  • The Netherlands: Two months.
  • The Philippines: Six months.
  • The United Kingdom: No legal probation period limit.
  • The United States: No legal probation period limit.
  • Turkey: Two months.
  • Ukraine: One months for most workers, but can be up to three months for more senior roles.
  • Uruguay: Three months.
  • Vietnam: Between six and 60 days.

For more information about the intricacies of hiring internationally, check out out our global hiring guides.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

Disclaimer: This blog and all information in it is provided for general informational purposes only. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or tax advice. You should consult with a qualified legal or tax professional for advice regarding any legal or tax matter and prior to acting (or refraining from acting) on the basis of any information provided on this website.

Table of Contents

Text Link