When the Labour Party came into Government, they signalled some significant changes to the employment legislation. The 90-day trial period was one of those. After much debate the 90-day trial period has remained, however it now only applies to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. This still represents a large percentage of businesses in New Zealand, including our own.
Even though the 90-day trial period has now been in place for some years, we are still finding business with less than 20 employees who struggle with the interpretation of how, and when, to activate the 90-day trial period.
Below are some things to think about if you are considering activating your 90-Day Trial Period:
- Why do you want to use the 90-day trial period? What are the reasons? Have you done as much you can to help the person improve i.e. is it unavoidable?
- Where could your process improve to avoid this again? How was your recruitment and onboarding process? Did you provid enough training, coaching and support? Are there any gaps that you can close?
- Was the person employed previously as a casual or temp? If so, then the 90-day trial period would not be valid, as they have already been employed by you.
- Did the person sign their employment agreement prior to their start date? You need to ensure that your employee signed and return their employment agreement before their first day of work, as this null and voids the 90-day trial period. We have found that this is a common theme, when employers are trying to activate the 90-day trial period.
By asking these questions, you can then determine the best approach forward so that you don’t get into any tricky situations. It is extremely important to get your due diligence correct and follow it. If you’re not sure then please get advice and help. The tips above and below can help you remove risk, and use the 90-day trial period for what it was designed for.
Before bringing people into your business, ensure that you have a structured and solid recruitment and HR process. Here are some things to think about;
- Are your employment agreements current, and do they contain a 90-day trial period clause.
- Complete a thorough interview process and have someone sit with you to help make the decision. Complete reference checks and any background checks that apply to the role, your business or industry.
- Ensure you have a current job description for the role. Start the expectations from the interview.
- Does your onboarding and induction plan support the first 90 Days for each role.
If your business has operated with a vacant role for the past few weeks, then taking a few more days to get your HR and recruitment process sorted before your new employee starts work, is worth the time to wait to get it right.
If you are struggling, and need help to navigate through the90-day trial period, then get in contact on 09 377 5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org