Election 2023: 90-day trial periods
Historically, workplace law/employment relations has been a political football, and we have no doubt that in this year’s important election, it will be the same.
The National Party’s leader Christopher Luxton has confirmed that the ‘old settings’ for 90-day trial periods would be reinstated should the party be voted into power.
What are the current settings?
90-day trials can only be used by small-to-medium sized employers, which is statutorily defined as an employer who employs 19 or fewer employees on the day on which the employment agreement is entered into. So, there are many employers who cannot currently use them.
What are the old settings?
These allow employers of any size to use 90-day trial periods. Of course, the devil is always in the detail, and there may be some other statutory changes made to 90-day trial periods as they can be notoriously difficult to use correctly. But, based on Mr Luxton’s comments, a simple rewind to the old days might be on the cards, which we expect will be a welcome relief to many employers.
Why are 90-day trial periods considered to be so important?
They stop employees from raising claims in relation to their dismissal (for example, unjustified dismissal personal grievance claims) and allow employers to end an employment relationship without having to go through the sometimes-onerous procedural steps to lawfully effect a dismissal that they would otherwise ordinarily have to. 90-day trial periods are therefore a powerful tool and can greatly assist employers when it turns out that the employee is simply not working out as anticipated – for example.
If you have any questions about how to lawfully implement and/or rely on a 90-day trial period or are facing an allegation that the trial period is invalid and a claim in respect of the dismissal can be pursued, please get in touch with our specialist employment team who will be able to sort this for you. They are available on 03 441 2743 or at [email protected].