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90-Day Trial Periods: What Employers Need to Know



Employment practices in New Zealand have recently witnessed a notable amendment with the reintroduction of the 90-day trial period for all employers. This legislative change, reminiscent of the 2011 bill, holds implications for organizations across the country, particularly in their approach to hiring and employee management.


What it Means for Employers:

  • Employers can now dismiss employees within a 90-day trial period if the employment agreement includes a valid trial provision.

  • Specific legislative requirements must be met for a valid dismissal, and if met, employees cannot file a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.

  • Trial provision must be in writing, for a maximum of 90 days, and can only apply to new employees.

Understanding 90-Day Trial Periods:

  • A trial period is a time for employers to assess a new employee's suitability without the risk of legal action if they're dismissed.

  • Employees still have basic rights during the trial but can't claim unjustified dismissal during this period.

Key Points for Employers:

  • The trial provision must be in the employment agreement from the start.

  • Proper notice must be given if dismissing an employee during the trial, following the terms of the employment contract.

  • If not done correctly, employers may face legal consequences.

Comparison with Probation Periods:

  • Probation periods offer a more flexible assessment period, often used for onboarding or promotions.

  • Dismissal during probation also requires valid reasons and following proper procedures.


Employers need to understand the differences between trial and probation periods to make informed decisions about employee management. Staying updated on legislative changes is crucial for effective workforce management.


Contact our HR Advisor, Dhiraj, to find out how HR Plus can streamline your employment processes on +642102998197

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