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