The Employment Relations Authority recently held that a trial period clause in an individual employment agreement was invalid because it did not specify the actual trial period commencement date. The Authority determined this was a requirement of Section 67A.
As a result the trial period clause was invalid and the employer was unable to rely on it to prevent its former employee pursuing a personal grievance.
Cases such as this demonstrate that the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court continue to interpret the requirements for trial periods very strictly. It is important that you check that any trial period clauses provide the following details:-
- The specified period of the trial which cannot exceed 90 days, commences on a specified date; and
- An acknowledgement that at any time during that period the employer may dismiss the employee; and
- If the employer does terminate employment during the trial period, the employee is not entitled to bring a personal grievance or any legal proceedings in respect of the dismissal.