Probationary Periods in Europe: Country-Specific Regulations

Last updated: 24 August 2023


European countries have a different approach to probationary periods than countries like the USA or Canada, where the probation period of a company can vary from 3 to 6 months. In general, it can be said that the probationary periods in Europe are shorter than in North America. However, notice periods in Europe tend to be longer.

So, how long are probation periods in Europe in 2022 actually? Here are the newest updates. 


Probation period France

Probationary Period in France


The probationary period in France differs per type of contract and per type of employee. Employees in a blue-collar role that have an indefinite term (also called a permanent contract) have a 2-month probationary period at work. Supervisors and technicians usually have a 3-month notice period, whereas management-level employees normally have 4 months. Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) may provide for differentiating terms. 

Sometimes the probationary periods are renewable. This can only be done once. The applicable CBA and the employment contract have to expressly provide for it. In France, temporary contracts with a probationary period are far from standard and, in most cases, not possible.


Probation period Italy

Probationary Period in Italy


For many countries, as well as for Italy, the probation period may depend on the time of employment status one may have. For executives, the maximum duration of a probation period in Italy is 6 months, while for non-executives, the period lasts up to 3 months.


Probation period Romania

Probationary Period in Romania 


Each working individual is entitled to a probationary period in Romania. However, they are certain exceptions. Executive-level positions are entitled to a probation period of 90 days, while management positions have the right to 120 days. For employees who have either a fixed or temporary employment agreement, the probationary periods are shorter. Nevertheless, that depends on the terms of their employment and their position.


Probation period Netherlands

Probationary Period in the Netherlands 


The probationary period in the Netherlands depends on the type of contract an employee may have. If an employee has an indefinite or fixed term contract for 2 years or more, then the period is 2 months. Under the CLA, it is not permissible for employees to have a probation period of 1 month if their fixed employment contract is 6 months or less. 

In certain cases, however, such as when an employee has a contract that is less than 2 years but is more than 6 months, the trial period of employment is roughly a month.

More about the employment cost in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.


Probation period Germany

Probationary Period in Germany


The probation periods in Germany can last up to 6 months, but the statutory dismissal protection will start after 6 months only.


Probation period Austria

Probationary Period in Austria


It is permissible to have a trial period in Austria for roughly a month, usually during the first month of employment.


Probation period Belgium

Probationary Period in Belgium 


The rules regarding the regular probation periods in Belgium have changed. According to the new regulations, a probation period is only inserted in employment contracts for students, temporary workers, or interim agency work.


Probation period Czech Republic

Probationary Period in the Czech Republic 


The usual contract period for workers in the Czech Republic for regular employees lasts up to 3 months, while for managerial positions, the period is 6 months. These periods can not be renewed or extended for longer than 6 months. However, this all must be agreed upon in writing.


Probation period Denmark

Probationary Period in Denmark


Probation periods in Denmark are common, but they last up to a maximum of 3 months.


Probation period Finland

Probationary Period in Finland 


Although probationary periods in Finland are permitted, the duration should be around 6 months. The period may be extended depending on the uncertain factors that may affect an employee during the trial period, such as sick leave or family leave.


Probation period Hungary

Probationary Period in Hungary 


Trail periods of employment in Hungary are commonly used, and they usually last up to 3 months, while in some cases, they can be extended up to 6 months if a mutual agreement is made.


Probation period Luxembourg

Probationary Period in Luxembourg 


Probation periods in Luxembourg usually vary between 2 weeks to 6 months. However, there are 2 conditions:

  • If an employee's training is below the Technical and Professional Aptitude
    Certificate for Technical Education (CATP), the probation period cannot be
    longer than 3 months.
  • If the gross salary is greater than or equal to EUR 4,474.31 gross at the
    index 834, then the probation period can be up to 12 months.


Probation period Norway

Probationary Period in Norway


Norway has a similar probationary limit as Finland and other Nordic countries. The period lasts up to a statutory limit of 6 months.


Probation period Ireland

Probationary Period in Ireland


A trial period of employment in Ireland is permissible. However, there is no statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months is fairly common.


Probation period Slovak Republic

Probationary Period in the Slovak Republic


A probationary period in the Slovak Republic is usually agreed upon in the employment contract for either 3 months or for a maximum of 6 months in the case of senior managers (i.e., those with responsibility for the direction of the company or who report directly to such a manager).

The probationary period may not be extended. A probationary period cannot be agreed upon in the case of re-employment for a fixed-term period. This period must be agreed upon in writing. Otherwise, it is invalid.


Probation period Poland

Probationary Period in Poland


An employment contract for a probationary period is a separate employment contract that differs from the other types of employment contracts. A probationary period in Poland cannot be longer than 3 months.

The aim of employment under this type of contract is to check the skills and qualifications of the employee and the possibility of employment for a specific type of work. As a rule, the employer may engage an employee for a trial period only once.


Probation period Sweden

Probationary Period in Sweden


A probationary period in Sweden is permissible. Subject to a statutory limit of 6 months.


Probation period Switzerland

Probationary Period in Switzerland


A trial period in Switzerland is also permissible but usually lasts up to 3 months.

Read more about the Cost of Employment in the DACH Region.




Overall, for North American companies who wish to expand to Europe, these types of information are useful to know, as it is going to ease the process of doing business when moving to Europe. 

If you wish to know more about doing business in another country, feel free to contact us using the link below. EuroDev has a wide range of HR Outsourcing experience, and you can get all the information that you need by reaching out to us.

Disclaimer: While we strive to provide accurate and timely information, please note that HR policies and regulations can change frequently. It is recommended that you seek guidance from our HR consultants to ensure that the data presented here is current and accurate.

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