Employing and managing staff

90-Day Trial Periods

Employers have the option of employing new staff on an initial trial.

  • Employers must have 19 or less employees at the time of hiring
  • Trial periods do not apply to people already employed by an employer or when an employer rehires a former employee.
  • The length of the trial period and notice period must be included in the employment agreement
  • The trial period cannot extend more than 90 calendar days
  • Where an employer terminates employment this must be done before the trial period ends, and notice given in accordance with the employment agreement
  • If an employee is let go during the trial period (and any notice period is honoured) they cannot take a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal
  • Employees may still take a personal grievance on grounds other than unjustified dismissal (i.e. discrimination, harassment etc)
  • Both parties still have the option of mediation during the trial period
  • The trial period counts towards the employee’s length of service with the employer
  • Employers must be clear with their employees as to whether they are offering a trial period (s67A & B of the ERA 2000) or a probationary period (s67).  Copies of the Act can be downloaded for free from www.legislation.govt.nz
  • It is important that employers check employment agreements before giving notice to terminate during a trial period to ensure their action is legal
  • To avoid problems, employers are recommended to seek advice before offering a trial period, or if they are considering dismissal

Employment contracts

Please use this Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation Employment Agreement Builder

Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax Update

Presbyterian Church Beneficiary Fund - a new ESCT rate may apply from 1 April 2018

Flexible working arrangements

We know that many employers already offer their staff flexible work. But for some employees and managers the prospect of discussing flexible work without a clear process can be daunting; more information is available from the Department of Labour.

For more information please contact Kate Wilson.