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Trial periods

A trial period is a timeframe that employers can use to find out if you are suitable for a job. An employer can dismiss you and you cannot raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal if the trial period was valid.

What is a trial period

A trial period begins when you start work and can be for up to 90 days — your contract must say how long it is. A trial period only applies to employees who have not worked for the employer before.

Employment NZ has details on:

  • valid trial periods
  • trial periods for union members
  • rights and responsibilities for employees and employers
  • grievances during trial periods
  • how notice of dismissal must be given.

Trial periods — Employment NZ

Even if an employee is on a trial period, they can still bring a personal grievance on grounds other than their dismissal, for example discrimination or harassment.

Find out more on the Employment NZ website:

Probationary periods

In some situations where a trial period cannot be used, such as an employer having a large amount of staff, an employer can use a probationary period to find out if an employee can do a new job. Probationary periods must be in your employment agreement.

Probationary periods — Employment NZ

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