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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22309
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I received an employment offer from one of consulting

Customer Question

Hello,
I received an employment offer from one of consulting companies.
This is relatively senior role, reporting to CEO.
I was interviewed by CEO, another senior team member (and share holder) as well as 2 additional senior manager that are part of the leadership team.
In addition, I was asked to provide references.
After all that process the offer has 90 days trial period. When contesting this, I was told that this is to allow them to asses me.
I have couple of questions:
1. Is it a common practice to have 90 days trial for senior roles?
2. If I decide to sign it, is there some legislation in place that can protect me from the employer 'changing his mind' rather then my ability to perform the job?
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Another issue that I've encountered in the agreement is the restriction of trade, which is across many areas and can limit my ability to ever work for someone else, unless I can be without job for 6 months.
With NZ market being so small, is it legal to have such a restriction in the contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
since I don't have access to my personal email at work, can you please email me a copy to***@******.***.thank you
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
In my experience it is unusual for a senior job to have the trial period, but they are permitted to ask this. The problem with the trial period is that they do not need to have a reason for dismissing you within a period. They can simply say that they have decided that you are not suitable, and provided they stick to that is the reason, they can legitimately dismiss you during the period. This also includes the ability to dismiss you because they change their mind. Restraints of trade are more difficult. In general, these are not enforceable against someone who leaves to work as an employee for someone else. They are only enforceable if you set up in business in opposition. In addition they are regarded as restricted by reasonableness. But as an employee, they are unlikely to be binding.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you please advise what will be the best way to response to this?
I am confident in my abilities but the risk is to high, so I'd like it to be removed and would like to have a compelling response
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
You can question the use of the 90 day period, particularly after a long search period with rigorous exploration of candidates. After the interviews you describe, I would have thought that a further trial period would be unnecessary. You must specifically agree to the trial period in writing before you commence however. But the employer does have the right to ask for this, and if you refuse, then they can decline to appoint you to the job.

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