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Last updated: 17.08.2023

The trial period enables both parties to assess the situation at the beginning of an employment relationship

The worker and the employer may agree on a trial period (koeaika) of up to six months at the beginning of the employment relationship. The trial period and its duration must be included in the employment contract.

The purpose of a trial period is to determine whether the employment contract meets both parties’ expectations. The trial period and its duration must be included in the employment contract. When entering into an employment contract, the employer may also indicate that the employment relationship is subject to the collective agreement’s provisions on a trial period.  
Read more about what to consider when entering into an employment contract.

If a trial period has not been agreed on, and no reference has been made to the collective agreement in terms of a trial period, the employment relationship will not have a trial period. As a rule, a trial period can be agreed on only once between the same parties. 

What is the duration of a trial period? 

The maximum duration of a trial period is six months.  

A trial period can also be included in a fixed-term employment contract. A fixed-term employment is valid for a specified period of time or the duration of the work to be completed. However, in a fixed-term employment relationship, the trial period may not be more than 50% of the duration of the employment relationship. 

Check the duration of the trial period in the collective agreement for your sector

Termination of contract during the trial period 

Both the employee and the employer may terminate the employment contract during the trial period. In such a case, the employment relationship ends immediately.  

However, there must be reasonable grounds for terminating the employment relationship during the trial period. Such grounds may be related to the employee’s work performance, the atmosphere in the workplace or other similar aspects.  

An employment contract may not be terminated on discriminatory or otherwise inappropriate grounds during the trial period.  

An employment relationship cannot be terminated during the trial period on the following grounds:  

  • Pregnancy  
  • The selection of the employee as a union representative 
  • Financial reasons or reasons related to production on the part of the employer 
  • Age 
  • National or ethnic origin 
  • Gender 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Trade union activity 
  • Political activity 
  • Other reason comparable to these 

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