90 Day Trial – Strikes Again

I know we have written about this in the past, but this is a timely reminder. Sadly, I was not surprised at all to read in a recent court case that another employer had been before the courts for being in breach of dismissing an employee under the 90 day trial and unfortunately had been reprimanded for not having followed correct process, or even having not been aware of the correct process to follow.

I find that almost without a doubt when I say to clients that you must have your new employee sign their individual employment contract prior to starting work with them, the answer is always the same “of course I will”. However, I ask this question from a legal point of view and often when I mention exactly what I mean by “before they start work for you”, people are a little taken aback. So, I’d like to tell you this story…

This employer had their new employee start at 7am on his first day. Upon arrival the new employee was provided with his employment agreement, which he studiously took home, presumably read over and brought it back the next morning, signed. Unfortunately over the following weeks the employee took many liberties and was dismissed. This is where things get seemingly unfair. The employee was aggrieved, sought legal advice and brought about a personal grievance. The Employer (presumably) thought this unfair as well and went to court, probably at significant cost, thinking they were in the right. They were not; it was deemed that the employee had been an existing employee when they signed their employment agreement some 24 hours after they started working for the employer. Even 24mins prior to starting is too late.

The 90 day trial is such a great piece of legislation to give employers the peace of mind on the off chance that they have made a poor recruitment choice. However, if you don’t have your employment agreement signed before your new employee starts with you, consider your 90 day trial void.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

Keeping You Posted

11 April 2024

Essential Update - 11th April 2024

Read Now >
10 January 2024

Essential Update - First update of 2024

Read Now >
4 December 2023

Final 2023 Essential Update

Read Now >