In a recent case, four employees resigned from their job and have since applied to the Employment Relations Authority to uphold their personal grievance claims for unjustified dismissal.

At the time of their resignation, the employees were on a 90-day trial period.

The employees argued before the Employment Relations Authority that the 90-day trial provision in their employment agreements was nullified as the clauses did not state when the trial periods would begin.

The ERA noted that in order for a 90-day trial period to be legally valid, the provision must contain a start day.

The ERA held that the individual employment agreements did not reasonably imply that the 90-day trial started on the first day of the employees’ employment.

The ERA noted a number of circumstances where parties may agree that the 90-day trial period should start after the first day of employment, for example if some offsite training is to take place before an employee begins work, if there is a temporary overseas placement, or if there is a lengthy induction period.

This case is a good reminder for all employers to ensure that their 90-day trial provisions contain a start date and comply with employment law.