»»Mr Blackmore’s trial period was invalid. Mr Blackmore was already an employee as he was employed by Honick Properties when he accepted its employment offer around five weeks before he started work, or alternatively, the court found he was employed when he started work at 7am on his first day of work (he was presented with the employment agreement to sign at 8am), and
»» Honick Properties unfairly bargained for the trial period as Mr Blackmore wasn’t advised, and didn’t have the opportunity, to get independent legal advice.
Employers looking to use trial periods should note the following:
»» If you make an offer of employment to an employee, then the proposed employment agreement containing the trial period should be given to the employee as part of the employment offer. Best practice is to make the offer conditional upon your new employee signing the proposed employment agreement with the trial period.
»» You must give prospective employees a reasonable opportunity to seek independent legal advice about the terms of the employment offer (including the trial period) before signing the employment agreement.
»» Employees must sign the employment agreement containing a compliant trial provision before starting work.