An employee has been dismissed for poor performance under a 90-day trial period policy. The employee was often late to work and failed to follow instructions.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The ERA found that the employee had been given a blank employment agreement to sign at the beginning of his employment. The agreement did not include a pay rate or his name, and did not include a trial period provision. The employer could therefore not dismiss the employee without following a fair and reasonable process.

The ERA found that no formal performance management process was undertaken, and noted that the employee was completely unaware that his employment was at risk.

The ERA stated that the case acted as a warning to employers to ensure that their employment documentation is up to date before they decide to take on new employees.

The ERA awarded the employee $5,000 for lost wages and unpaid holiday leave plus $3,000 in compensation. The ERA reduced the amount of compensation by 50% as the employee’s poor work performance contributed to the situation.