New Zealand 90 Day Employment Trial Period

All the duties of good faith apply during 90 Day Trial Periods. That means employees entering into a 90 Day Trial Period NZ has legalised can bring a grievance against an employer if they are unjustly treated.

You must get the employee to sign the agreement(which has a 90 day trial period) prior to the employee starting.  So get the employee to pick up the new agreement and return it signed before they start.

We strongly recommend that you phone or email us before you rely on this clause.

90 Day Trial Period

A 90 day trial period came into effect on the 1st of March 2009.

As with all legislation, there are key things you need to know before the employment relationship is terminated.

  • Any trial period is voluntary and must be agreed by the employer and the employee in writing as part of the employment agreement, before employment is started.
  • The trial period provision must be stated in the employment agreement and be no more than 90 days.
  • The trial can only apply to new staff - previous employees or those transferring from one job to another can't be included .
  • A trial period can only apply once and can't be rolled over.
  • If dismissed during the trial period, an employee can't pursue a personal grievance for an unjustified dismissal, but can for a disadvantage claim.
  • The employment agreement must be signed prior to the employment starting.

Following the termination of employment NZ permits under a 90 day trial, employees can still bring personal grievances for unjustified disadvantage, discrimination, sexual or racial harassment, duress and failure by an employer to comply with the continuity of employment provisions in the Employment Relations Act. There is very strict requirements to follow on how to dismiss under the 90 day trial so always best to seek advice.

For more information go to FAQ.

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