Christmas holidays and trial periods

November 13, 2017

in Employment

Not everybody may be aware that the 90 day trial period provision in the Employment Relations Act is based on calendar days, and not working days or days on which their business is open.  What this means is that the 90 days continues to countdown over weekends, public holidays, and days an employee is not working.

Many businesses have an extended shut down over Christmas, closing their doors a day or two before Christmas Day and not opening until a week or two into the New Year.  That can be a significant portion of time for a business and represents a significant portion of the 90 day trial period (which is roughly three months).

Accordingly if you employ someone on a 90 day trial period before Christmas the period could expire or significantly count down while your business is closed, without you having had the full opportunity to consider your new recruit.

Staff recruitment and the salaries that go along with them can be a big commitment for small and medium sized businesses in New Zealand so employers might consider whether they can make do without a new employee until the New Year and commence employment, including the 90 day trial period, when their businesses re-open in January (or February for the lucky ones).

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Wallace Revell
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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