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Reminder - No 90 Day Trials for migrant workers

Published 12 Nov 2023

As a reminder, aligning with Immigration New Zealand's (INZ) 'Migrant Work Exploitation Programme' the use of 90 Day Trial Periods is now no longer be allowed for any migrant worker employed under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme since 29 October 2023.

Prior to 29th Oct 2023, small-to-medium employers (19 or less employees), accredited with the AEVW scheme had the ability to incorporate a 90-day trial clause in their employment agreements and invoke if necessary. This provision empowers the employer to terminate the employment of an employee within the initial 90 days without being susceptible to an unjustified dismissal personal grievance claim.

Under a revised INZ policy, this ability has now been removed from engagements with AEWV migrant workers as from 29 October 2023. You need to remove these from your Employment Agreements in your Job Checks as they will not be approved and will add to time delays and potential more costs to re-apply.

This means that ordinary employment law requirements in terms of fair process and justification apply for any dismissal scenarios involving migrant workers, which they are free to challenge via a personal grievance claim.

For AEWV employers who have included a 90 Day Trial provision in their employment agreements approved before October 29, 2023, the trial period clause will remain legally valid and enforceable. This means that any existing agreements containing such provisions are not affected by this change - provided the trial period is valid in all other material respects.

If you are considering terminating a migrant worker under a 90 Day Trial Period, or any other worker for that matter, we strongly recommend to use our termination check list to double check your process prior to invoking. Use our Free 90 Day Trial Period tools here: