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last updated 23/01/2024


Trialling new staff to get easier

last updated 23/01/2024


January 2024 – Return of 90-day trial periods a welcome development for small business

The new coalition Government has changed the rules around 90-day trial periods for new employees, which may make life easier for franchisors and franchisees. Although the employment situation has eased slightly, enabling many hospitality outlets to open longer hours again, the complexities of recruitment have continued to impact small business without HR departments at a disproportionate level.

The Employment Relations (Trial Periods) Amendment Bill aims to provide employers with the confidence to take people on by allowing a 90-day trial period. During this period, employers can dismiss unsuitable employees without legal consequences, provided that the trial period is specified in the employment agreement and the employee is new.

The changes do not affect other aspects of employment relations, such as the requirement to act in good faith, or worker protections regarding pay, conditions, leave, and health and safety. Employers are advised to take legal advice before applying the new rules.

90-day trial periods are not permitted for employers hiring people on an AEWV (see separate story).

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