Trial Period Changes – Transitional Arrangements for Large Employers

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 (“the Act”) came into force on 6 December 2018.  However, a number of provisions will not take effect until 6 May 2019. 

Among these changes, from 6 May 2019, 90-day trial periods will be restricted to small – medium sized employers (employers with less than 20 employees).

But what does this mean for large employers (employers with 20 or more employees) in the interim?

Transitional provisions in the Act state that a trial period provision contained in an employment agreement, which is entered into before 6 May 2019, will continue to apply as if the legislative changes to trial periods had not been made.  

This means that employers with 20 or more employees who implement trial periods between now and 5 May 2019, will be able to rely on those trial periods after 6 May 2019, in order to dismiss employees.

However, from 6 May 2019 onwards, employers with 20 or more employees will be barred from including trial periods in their employment agreements with new employees.

If you have any questions about how these transitional arrangements may impact your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us for further details. 

Author: Madeleine Lister, Associate  

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