Employers can make an offer of employment that includes a trial period of up to 90 days.
Trial periods are voluntary, and must be agreed in writing and negotiated in good faith as part of the employment agreement.
An employee must a sign a written employment agreement containing a valid trial period clause before the employee begins working for the employer. For example, if an employee is offered the job on Monday, starts work on Tuesday and signs the employment agreement on Wednesday, then the trial period is invalid.
In order to be valid, a trial period clause must:
- Specify the period for which the trial period applies (this cannot exceed 90 days and must start at the beginning of the employment)
- State that during this period the employer may dismiss the employee
- State that in event the employee is dismissed during the trial period, the employee is not entitled to bring a personal grievance or other legal proceedings in respect of the dismissal.
An employee who is dismissed before the end of a trial period can’t raise a personal grievance on the grounds of unjustified dismissal. They can raise a personal grievance on other grounds, such as discrimination, harassment or unjustified action by the employer.
Employees on trial periods are entitled to all other minimum employment rights.