The Employment Relations Authority has recently allowed a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal and ruled out the 90 day trial period as a justification for that dismissal, regardless of a trial period clause being included in the employment agreement.

The dismissal was within the 90 day period and the employer thought he was exercising his right under the trial period clause in their employment agreement. It was found however, that the employee began work before the employment agreement was signed.

Working before signing the employment agreement makes the trial period clause invalid. Employment agreements must be between an employer and an employee who has never worked for the employer before. This includes any amount of work, even if it is only five minutes before signing the employment contract.

The employee was awarded compensation for hurt and humiliation and payment for loss of wages which amounted to over $5,000 for the procedurally unjust dismissal.

The 90 day trial period must be included into employment agreement correctly for it to come into effect.  If the rules are not followed it can be a costly experience for employers.