Philippines: Can an employer extend beyond six (6) months the probationary period of an employee?

The provision of the Philippine Labor Code pertaining to Probationary Employment can be found under Article 282 which states:
Art. 282. Probationary Employment. — Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.’

The issue is whether or not employers can extend the 6 months provision of law on probationary employment.

Based on the following Supreme Court Decision probationary employment can be extended:

MARIWASA MANUFACTURING,INC vs.
HON. VICENTE LEOGARDO, JR., in his capacity as Deputy Minister of Ministry of Labor and Employment judgment,

G.R. No. 74246 January 26, 1989

By voluntarily agreeing to an extension of the probationary period, Dequila in effect waived any benefit attaching to the completion of said period if he still failed to make the grade during the period of extension. The Court finds nothing in the law which by any fair interpretation prohibits such a waiver. And no public policy protecting the employee and the security of his tenure is served by prescribing voluntary agreements which, by reasonably extending the period of probation, actually improve and further a probationary employee’s prospects of demonstrating his fitness for regular employment.

Will find more relevant jurisprudence on my next post.

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