The Employment Relations Authority has found an employer’s failure to get a signed employment agreement back on the employee’s first day of work meant the 90-day trial clause in the agreement was invalid.

The employee successfully interviewed for the role and began work on a Friday. On his first day of work, the employer gave him an employment agreement. The employee took the agreement home over the weekend before he, and the employer, signed it on the following Monday.

Almost two months later, the employer fired the employee on the spot for poor performance. The employer relied on a 90-day trial clause in the employment agreement.

The Authority explained that as the employee had already worked a day without signing an agreement, he was an existing permanent employee. Since he was an existing employee, he could not be placed on a trial period when the agreement was signed.

It is important to make sure employees sign and return employment agreements before beginning work. If employees begin working without a signed agreement, they automatically become permanent employees under the law, regardless of what the parties intended.

If you have concerns about your employment practices or agreements, it pays to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer