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Hi, So one of my emp joined in mid FEB and we did make it clear during interview that for a month or two they may have to travel to another country which was agreed upon. Fast forward to a month after their joining when we asked them to travel they came up with reason that their mother has surgery and for an entire year they cannot travel. We accommodated that on compassionate grounds although that meant we wont have them in person to meet client.
Now they met with accident, and are on UNPAID leave for 3 months till date we paid them everything. Now they are asking for 1 month salary while on unpaid leave on compassionate grounds that they can pay later.

At this point within the duration of probation, I am turned off by employee as they haven't show any great performance or full-filled job duties such as travelling to client side.
Is it incorrect to deny the request of advance salary to be fair to all other employees?
Does that make us a bad employer?
As it is I am a small business and now this employee is on leave for 3 months due to accident, I either have to get their replacement while they are away or keep that replacement as a liability to replace this employee later. Can I replace the employee once they return after 3 months on ground of unfit to fulfill job responsibilities?

From Canada, Vancouver

During probation, no employer would extend any salary advance, whatever is the ground. In this case. first of all, you have kept them (or him/her?) off travel abroad on medical grounds and that too not of the employee but of his mother. Again, you have paid salary during accident period. That was not needed if the accident was not while and during the course of duty. The employee should not have asked for advance again. Now, it seems that the employee will not return after the leave and you will be stuck and will not find a way out to get the money paid refunded by him. Therefore, reject the application for salary advance stating that during probation we cannot advance salary.

Now coming to the next question, refusal of rights of an employee will make an employer bad but refusal of a privilege will not make an employer BAD. Moreover, from my experience what I have found is that privileges will always become a right. Once you give salary advance even to a probationer, everybody will ask for salary advance. Remember that you will be running the show from overdraft from the bank and they charge interest whereas the salary advance that you give will be interest free. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in refusing salary advance.

Once the employee resumes duty, you can give him an opportunity to show his performance and if it is not up to the expectation, as him to go. This should again be as per the contract of employment. For the time being you will have to manage with some temporary appointment.

From India, Kannur
Thank you for your advice Mr Madhu T K
From Canada, Vancouver
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