A trial period is when an employer can dismiss you and you cannot raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal. Employers can use trial periods to find out if you're suitable for a job.
What’s a trial period
It can be for up to 90 days — your contract must say how long it is. Only businesses with 19 employees or fewer can use the trial period.
The trial period starts when you begin working. It means that your employer can end your employment during the trial period.
You need to:
- sign the employment agreement before starting work
- know that your employer can give you notice during your trial period.
If you’ve worked past the trial period without being dismissed, you’ll automatically keep the job.
During the trial period, you:
- cannot bring a personal grievance against your employer for unfair dismissal
- can bring a personal grievance if you’ve been treated unfairly in other ways — for example, discrimination or harassment
- have the same minimum rights as permanent staff.
If your employer decides to fire you, they must give you:
- notice while you’re in the trial period — even if your last day will be after the end of the trial period
- as much notice as is in your employment agreement.
If you’ve worked for your employer before
You cannot be put on a trial period.
If you’re on an individual employment agreement
For your first 30 days, terms and conditions in your individual employment agreement must match the collective employment agreement — for example, if the collective agreement says you cannot have a trial period, an individual agreement cannot say something different.
If your employer has 20 or more employees
Your 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.