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January IR Insights

Fixed Term Contract Changes (Aus)


New rules now apply to Fixed Term Employment Contracts made on or after 6 December 2023. The key changes you need to be aware of include:

 

  • If you are engaging an employee on a fixed term contract, you will be required to issue the new contract with a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement and set the contract term for a period of no greater than 2 years.

  • If the original contract term is less than 2 years, you can only extend the term once (providing this extension does not exceed the 2-year cap).

  • At the end of the term, you are not able to enter a new 2-year fixed term unless the work performed is substantially different.



Trial Periods are Back (NZ). 


Legislation has been passed in NZ, bringing back 90-day trial periods for all employers. Trial periods essentially remove the ability for an employee to bring a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal in most circumstances.

 

If you’d like to take advantage of this change in legislation, here’s what you need to know:

 

  • To be valid, a trial period must be written in the employment agreement and agreed to by both parties before commencing work,

  • The trial period must be entered into willingly and in good faith (an employee cannot be forced into a trial period),

  • The employment agreement needs to be signed before commencing employment, and

  • The 90-day trial clause needs to stipulate when the 90-day trial commences.

 

Employees on trial periods should be treated the same way as any other employee in all other circumstances, keeping in mind that a personal grievance can still be brought by an employee on a trial period if the matter is not related to dismissal.

 

If you currently engage or are looking to engage a fixed term employee or would like to take advantage of trial periods, please contact the team at Streamline HR for specific advice and support.


 

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