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Employer question: How do I use a 90 day trial safely?

#yourquestionsanswered How should an employer go about employing and dismissing people on a 90 day trial?

Sad employee

With the new government's changes to legislation, 90 Day Trials aren't just for employers with less than 20 employees. Anyone can use them, but its important to make sure you do it right to reduce the risk of an unfair dismissal claim!

Before employment:

  • Ensure that your employment agreement has a robust 90 Day Trial clause in it.

  • Give them their employment agreement (with the 90 day trial clause in it) at least three working days before they commence work.

  • Ensure that the employee signs and returns their contract the day before commencing work

During employment:

  • Monitor their progress/fit within the role and the business.

  • If you have concerns or think you might want to terminate them, do not leave it to the last minute!

Before dismissing your employee under a 90 day trial:

  • If you're considering termination, make sure that you are still within the 90 day period

  • Organise a meeting with the employee to provide them with the notice of termination of their employment. Note: failure to provide the correct notice could give them grounds to raise a grievance.

  • Be sensitive to the fact that this may be a stressful situation.

Don't get caught out by not following a good process!

Just because there is legislation that allows for dismissal under a 90 day trial, doesn't mean that there aren't common pitfalls that employers fall into and that cost them dearly.

This is especially painful to see when it was a terrible employee that could have been fired for many other reasons, like in this case:

Golden rule with 90 day trials: Don't rush and have a good checklist (like ours!) to ensure you get it right.


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