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The Illegal Interview Questions Employers Can't Ask You
As job seekers, we all come across a broad range of questions during a job search – and some may be more challenging than others.
As job seekers, we all come across a broad range of questions during a job search – and some may be more challenging than others. But did you know that it might be against the law to ask some of these questions?
If you face a question that seems a bit dodgy, trust your gut instinct. You may be experiencing an invasion of privacy or unnecessary discrimination from your employer that can get them fired, many questions which are protected under the Fair Work Act. The Fair Work Act covers a broad range of areas including Sex Discrimination, Economic Recovery and more.
Employees stay when they are:
- Paid well
- On a mission
Here are some of the most common:
- Are you married/are you seeing anyone?
This is against personal privacy and space. Marital status is protected under the Fair Work Act. These details of one’s personal life shouldn’t be asked if they are irrelevant to the job.
- Are you in a same-sex relationship?
Again, protected under the Fair Work Act and Sex Discrimination Act, and also irrelevant to one’s ability to do the job.
- Are you a member of a union?
Political affiliations are protected under the Fair Work Act. According to fairwork.gov.au, it is illegal to threaten or take adverse action against any person for being or not being part of a union, or taking part or not taking part in industrial activity. Adverse action includes dismissing them, changing their role to put them in a worse position, or changing the terms and conditions to put them in a worse position.
- Who do you vote for?
Again, political affiliations are protected under the Fair Work Act. Fair Work Act 2009 s.346(a), 348, 350 and 772
- Do you drink or smoke?
Lifestyle habits are protected under the Fair Work Act. These are also unrelated to the job. The role is not defined by habits that are outside of work.
- What religion are you?
Religious beliefs are protected under the Fair Work Act, just like political affiliations. It doesn’t matter what religion or faith you belong to as it doesn’t impact your work performance and asking about it can be considered an invasion of privacy and discrimination.
- How old are you?
Employers shouldn’t ask these questions about age as they are considered rude and irrelevant to the ability to do the job well. It is a form of discrimination since ageism is against Section 351 of the General Protections Benchbook.
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