Employers can satisfy the conditions for a unilateral termination of an employment agreement before the end of the probationary period when it can prove that an employee has failed to accomplish the expected job requirements.

Unilateral termination of an employment agreement before the end of the probationary period is possible when the employment agreement prescribes:

  1. a probationary period;
  2. the duration of such a period;
  3. a way of monitoring the employee’s performance; and
  4. the possibility of terminating the employment agreement before the end of the probationary period.

A probationary period may exist under a collective contract or an employment agreement. Under an employment agreement, depending on the complexity of the work, the duration of the probationary period can be stipulated, but it may not exceed six months.

Montenegro’s labor law does not prescribe the method of monitoring an employee’s productivity during the probationary period. Expertise and the ability to perform certain jobs can be monitored and evaluated by an employee’s immediate manager. Based on the results of an evaluation, an employer may terminate the employment agreement during the probationary period or at its expiration.

The decision to terminate the employment agreement must include the reasoning, such as the employee did not achieve the expected results. In general, the decision needs to demonstrate clear and specific omissions by the employee that were established on the basis of objective criteria, such as timeliness and the manner of executing the work obligations.


The labor law prescribes that an employer may terminate an employment agreement before the end of probationary period, but this must be conducted in the proper manner. Reasons for termination must be incorporated, as well as objective criteria measuring the employee’s work results.

Written by Milena Rončević Pejović and Luka Prelević in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2019 Karanovic & Partners and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.