90 Day Trial Periods

The 90 day trial period was rolled out nationwide in 2011 to encourage all businesses, small and large, to grow their workforces and take a chance on new workers and long-term unemployed people.

We know 80% of businesses have used these trial periods in the last year and over a third have said that as a result of them they have given someone a chance in a job that they otherwise wouldn’t have.  That’s what they are about, helping young, vulnerable and less experienced workers to get the opportunity to prove what they can do.

The Government plans to restrict 90 day trial periods to small businesses that employ fewer than 20 staff and that’s not just full timers but counts all casual and part time workers as part of that number.

This will make it much harder for young, unskilled and vulnerable workers to find employment and make it too risky for mid-sized employers to take a chance on a new worker with no track record of employment.

These changes will only reduce job opportunities and wage growth, especially for those vulnerable workers on the edges of the labour market.

"We are pleased to see the 90-day trial period will remain in its current format for businesses with fewer than 20 employees. But for those with more than 20 it would be unfortunate if larger businesses now choose not to take someone on," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.

"Trial periods allow opportunities for an untried employee while reducing the 'unfair dismissal' risk to the employer of it not working out. This is a very real issue for small businesses," Kirk Hope, Business NZ.

“The 90-day trial periods have made it easier for manufacturers to bring on staff to fill skill shortages, knowing they have the ability to take a risk on a new worker. The proposed change will make it harder for companies to fill vacancies – the last thing they need right now.” says Mr Dieter Adam, CE, The Manufacturers’ Network.