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.
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:
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.