Laura Walters at Stuff reports:
Trade unionists have labelled a suggestion by the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association to double the current 90-day trial period for employees as “disgraceful”.
An EMA study of all personal grievances last year showed only 15 per cent of employers successfully defended performance-related grievances in front of the Employment Relations Authority .
EMA manager of employment services David Lowe said it was hard to manage employees with fluctuating performance, and extending the 90-day trial to 180 days would allow employers to identify potential issues with workers.
It’s not a disgraceful suggestion. One can debate it without hysterics. However on the substance of the issue, I’m more inclined to the CTU view that the EMA view that it should remain at 90 days. Of course the CTU thinks there shouldn’t be one at all, but that is a different debate. I think 90 days is adequate to identify a dysfunctional employee. In fact in my experience i often becomes apparent within a few weeks. So I think 90 days is an appropriate period of time for a trial period.
Claims in favour of employers:
Redundancy grievances: 29 per cent (23 out of 80)
Misconduct: 26 per cent (48/122)
Performance: 15 per cent (6/41)
Constructive dismissal: 46 per cent (26/56)
Disadvantage: 27 per cent (18/66)
Claims for reinstatement: 50 per cent (5/10)
The 15% stat for performance claims reinforces my view that it is almost impossible to dismiss an employee legally, just for being incompetent.
The EMA analysis showed 34 claims were made in 2012 by employees whose employment finished within the first 90 days, and 91 per cent of them won.
People forget the 90 day trial provision is not mandatory. It is an option.