Managing the First Three Months of Employment

Team Management

Having a new employee join the team can be the best and the worst of times for an employer. During the first three months of employment, efficient onboarding is essential to the  employee’s familiarisation with a new place of work and goes way beyond a simple orientation process. Good onboarding  aligns the goals of the company to those of the new employee and can ultimately increase engagement and reduce turnover.

Employer obligations begin before the start date of a new employee and continue throughout their period of employment. What are the common obstacles?

        The essential terms and conditions:

Do you know the 10 minimum standards set out as the NES? The details of these standards need to be made available to employees as part of the onboarding process and there are substantial risks for non-compliance. Do you know which Award binds your business and the current minimum wage? These need to be included in the letter or contract of employment and the nature of the role usually dictates whether a letter or a contract is recommended.

        The probation period:

Do you know the difference between probationary periods and minimum employment periods?  One of these two conditions relates to the amount of time which a business is protected from most unfair dismissal claims and  the size of your business dictates the length of time that a business is protected. Are you familiar with the obligations around notice periods in case things don’t work out?

        Risks of termination during the probation period:

Is there a risk of an adverse action claim for sacking someone for "poor cultural fit"? Can an employee claim adverse action after being made redundant? What adverse action risks arise during the probationary period?

These are just three of many points to consider concerning the first three months of employment, if this time period is managed effectively then business owners can expect a healthier and stronger employment relationship, leading to better business overall.


Ben Thompson

CEO at Employment Innovations (EI)

Ben Thompson is CEO of EI ( and Employment Hero (, established to provide small and medium sized businesses with the type of legal, HR and payroll services that big business take for granted. He is a solicitor with an excellent success record defending clients in State and Federal jurisdictions, winning several Full Bench appeals. Ask him about employment law, and HR strategy.