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June 19 2014

Job Seekers Need Clear Privacy Law

"The tribunal recognised applicants would probably have expected their personal information to be kept confidential. The decision of the Human Rights Review Tribunal to make a company disclose to a failed job applicant the CVs and reference checks of others going for a job is an example. The aggrieved party complained that he was discriminated against on the basis of age, so he wanted to see the credentials of others who applied or succeeded in the process. Under the court system's rules of ""discovery"", which the tribunal adopts, all information pertinent to an action needs to be handed over from the defendant to the plaintiff. So Alpine and its recruitment agency must give the man the information it has on the successful candidate and those who contested and lost. This could include references, security checks, medical information, criminal records, past behavioural issues or work performance details provided by former employers and referees. This is a complex legal zone of overlapping public and private interests and parallel laws. While the sanctity of anti-discrimination law and the principle of full discovery are vital, surely the discrimination against and invasion of others' privacy requires a clear, fair legislative fix."