Using the 90-day trial period

Posted by: Louise Pope
Date: 28 January 2014

From 1 April 2011 all employers have been able to offer a trial period of up to 90 calendar days for employees.

For the trial period to apply the employee must be a new employee, not an employee returning to your workforce.  The contract must be signed before the start of the employment term, and you must follow all the rules correctly.

A 90-day trial period will protect you from:

A personal grievance on the grounds of unjustified dismissal

It will not protect you from:

A personal grievance on the grounds of discrimination, harassment, or unjustified action by the employer.

It is important that you follow the steps correctly;

  • you don't treat the employment of staff lightly; and
  • neither should you treat it lightly in the event the relationship does not work.
  • You must remain respectful and courteous at all times and make sure that you have followed the rules or the consequences are costly in both time and money

During the 90-day trial period you must meet all other minimum employment rights.  You must carry out regular review meetings addressing issues and providing the necessary training to address the issues, and then have follow-up reviews.  

If you are thinking of employing new staff members and want to include the 90-day trial period, give me a call or email

Making sure you have your i's dotted and t's crossed can save you a lot of headaches and be much gentler on the wallet. 

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