90-day trial periods extended to include all employers

All employers in New Zealand, no matter their size, will be able to use 90-day trial periods, with effect from Saturday 23 December.

Previously, 90-day trial periods only applied to employers with fewer than 20 employees. This provision has been extended and is available to all employers.

Any employer can provide a new employee with an offer of employment which includes a trial period. A trial period must be agreed to by the employer and employee in writing, and in good faith, before the employee starts work, as part of an employment agreement.

There are a number of ‘must-dos’ in any employment relationship. The extension of 90-day trials will not affect other aspects of employment relations, such as the requirement to act in good faith, or worker protections regarding pay, conditions, leave, and health and safety.

Employer and employee must-dos

If employers are hiring people on certain work visas, they will also need to consider any immigration requirements relating to the use of trial periods.

For more information, see Trial periods.