Dotting Is Crossing Ts 90 Day Trial Period
Speculation over the 90-day trial period and whether it is valid or not has come to light again with a recent case out of the Empl…
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Never take a prepared letter into a disciplinary meeting as it shows complete pre-determination of the outcome, which could result in an unjustified dismissal. The only exception to this is during a 90-Day Trial Period in which case it is OK to bring a prepared letter confirming the dismissal. For more information on the correct disciplinary process, contact the office.
The 90-day trial period has been extended to all employers regardless of the number of employees. All employers can now hire new employees on a trial period of 90 days or less without the risk of the employee taking a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal (they may still take a personal grievance on other grounds) in the event that the employee is dismissed during the trial period. This all sounds wonderful in theory, but what is being discovered through the Courts is that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Since 1 April 2011, the 90-day trial period has been available to all employers regardless of the number of employees. Employers now have the opportunity to hire new employees subject to a trial period of 90 days or less. In the event that an employee is dismissed during the trial period, they are prevented from taking a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal. However, employees can still still take a personal grievance on other grounds.
Recently, in the decision of The Salad Bowl Ltd v Amberleigh Howe-Thornley  NZEmpC 152, the Employment Court (Court) has scrutinised the practice of using pre-employment work trials. We can take some valuable lessons from this case to limit employer’s risk of using pre-employment work trials in the future.
A recent determination from the Employment Relations Authority has found a voluntary, unpaid pre-employment test did not form part of a trial period. The employees personal grievances for unjustified dismissal and disadvantage failed.
After nine years under a National Government, the employment landscape is about to be reshaped. While Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens all had different policies and priorities coming into the 2017 election, they shared the commonality of being policies for the people.