On the 20th of December 2022, various amendments (and clarifications) to the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 452) came into force, mainly relating to the probationary period applicable to fixed term contracts and the duration of fixed term contracts. By means of the amendments:
- In the case of a renewal of a fixed term contract for the same functions and tasks as the previous fixed term contract, there shall be no new probationary period.
- A fixed term contract cannot be shorter than six months unless there is an objective reason based on precise circumstances which needs to be listed in the contract itself.
- In the case of a fixed term contract of a duration of between six and fifteen months, the probationary period shall be calculated on the basis of two months per six months contract duration.
- For a fixed term contract exceeding fifteen months duration, probation shall be of six months.
- If the fixed term contract is of a duration less than six months, the probationary period shall be one third of the duration of the contract.
- Probation can be shorter by agreement between the parties.
- Probation is to be suspended in the case that the employee avails himself of leave for more than two weeks. Probation then needs to be extended to a duration corresponding to the amount of leave taken. No dismissal can take place during the suspended period of probation.