- Key Focus Areas
- Enquiries and Complaints
- Human Rights
- The Treaty
- Disabled People
- Race Relations
- International & UN
- Office of Human Rights Proceedings
- What can I complain about?
- Resolving Discrimination and Harassment guide
- Areas of public life
- Government or Public Sector Activities
- Access by the public to places, vehicles and facilities
- Industrial and professional associations, qualifying bodies and vocational training bodies
- Provision of goods and services
- Provision of land, housing and other accommodation
- Discriminatory Laws
- Accommodating disability and religious beliefs
- Accommodation, property, landlords and human rights
- ACC and age discrimination
- Bullying, harassment and/or violence at school
- Caring for disabled adult family members
- Clubs and the Human Rights Act
- English language only in the workplace
- Funeral arrangements
- Human Rights and Redundancy
- Job application questions
- Maori Party and the Human Rights Act
- Moko: your rights
- New Zealands official languages
- Positive actions to achieve equality
- Prisoners’ rights
- Racially offensive comments
- Reviewing decisions
- The School Ball
- Smoking and human rights
- Wearing cultural, religious or national items
- What do I do?
- What happens?
- Further links
Enquiries and Complaints Guide
Job application questions
What can I be asked about when applying for a job?
An employer should only ask a jobseeker questions that have relevance to the job advertised. If questions are asked that have no relevance to the job (whether in an interview or on a job application form) then you can ask the Commission for advice. If the question is to do with one of the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act the Commission will be able to help further.
The Human Rights Commission has published a guide on many common pre-employment situations. To see a copy, click here: Getting a job: An A-Z for employers and employees.
Most job application forms need to be completed in advance of any interview, which means that jobseekers may not know if the information sought is relevant to the job. However, employers should not generally ask questions about:
- age – unless it is necessary for the purposes of the Minimum Wages Act or the Sale of Liquor Act
- date of birth
- holding a driver’s licence (unless it is essential for the position)
- past and/or current health status
- authority to access ACC claims history
- details of next-of-kin, partner or dependents.
Other organisations that can provide useful information about pre-employment processes include:
- The Department of Labour’s Employment Relations Service
- The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
- The Employers & Manufacturers Association.
To contact the Commission for help, call the Infoline number on 0800 496 877.