An employer was dissatisfied with an employee’s performance and advised the employee he was not going to keep him past the 90-day period. Unfortunately for the employer the employment agreement did not contain a 90-day trial clause.

The Employment Relations Authority held there was no proper process followed and the employee was called to a meeting with no idea what it was about.

There were no formal warnings given to the employee for poor performance, and the concerns about the employee’s interaction with other staff were not clearly addressed. There was no disciplinary action imposed at the time for the use of bad language, or follow-ups as to whether the required improvements had been met before termination.

The ERA held a fair and reasonable employer should have commenced a process of identifying to the employee deficiencies which the employer believed he had. This would give the employee an opportunity to improve his performance.

The ERA held the employee was unjustifiably dismissed and awarded $8,800 for lost wages and compensation of $5,000.