Questions on Application Form

Questions on Application Form

A recent decision has found Woolworths discriminated against online job applicants by requiring them to provide their gender, date of birth and proof of their right to work.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal said the requirement to provide the information breached the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act, and that Woolworths could not rely on a defense that it was “reasonably required”.

Job applications could not be submitted unless the information was provided on the on-line applications – Woolworths has since changed the form.

It nevertheless argued that it was reasonable to ask for applicants’ dates of birth because some jobs could only be performed by those 18 and over and different rates of pay might apply to those under 21.

So this is a timely reminder to check that you asking the correct things on job applications. You need to ask yourself is the information sought through their application process absolutely necessary to fill the role.

To put it another way – only have questions on the initial application forms with information necessary to make an assessment as to the whether the person is suitable for the role.

HR Central can assist you if you have questions so you don’t have job applications which could be claimed the information they’re seeking might be used for discriminatory purposes.

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Michael is a specialist in all things HR. With vast HR experience in the USA and Australia, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and advice to HR Central. When he's not blogging for HR Central you can find him out for dinner in one of Melbourne's newest restaurants.

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