I hope it is okay to ask on behalf of another individual that has just started trial work with our organisation. He has

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Customer: I hope it is okay to ask on behalf of another individual that has just started trial work with our organisation. He has been offered voluntary work in IT (40 Hours pw) but has been told he will be offered full time employment at the end of the period. He has accepted to work this trial period. Our organisation employs more than 120 staff and has contracts in the health sector. My question is this fair to the employee to not be paid, at least a minimum wage?
JA: Have you filed a wage-and-hour claim for unpaid wages?
Customer: He only started yesterday, 6th January?
JA: Where are you located? Wage-and-hour laws vary by state.
Customer: In New Zealand, Central North Island, Taumarunui. I am sorry Ellen are we in your constituency?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am happy to continue, if the discussion covers New Zealand employment law?
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 3 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is legal to offer someone an unpaid trial period, although on a personal level it is not something which I think is good employment practice. I do not believe that this is appropriate, but some people are desperate for work and will accept this to get a foot in the door.

Customer
I spoke with the individual late today. I agree not good employment practice, hence the enquiry, He was originally under the impression he was being employed for paid IT work, He then received an email on the weekend, from the organisations HR Manager, welcoming him to the organaisation and to be at the office for a 9am start, It was also then he was informed the work would be voluntary and therefore unpaid. Like you have stated he is reserved about speaking out because he does "want a foot in the door" but he definitely expected paid employment. The work is absolutely necessary to the everyday running of the business and would require a paid employee to undertake the duties. If he states he believed he was to be paid, which he "must do" what are his options if the employer says goodbye?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I think if the unpaid nature of this wasn’t explained properly then he should say this now. If they say either accept voluntary or leave he would have grounds for a personal grievance but of course still wouldn’t have the job
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