The A-Z Pre-Employment Guide for employers & employees

F. 

FAMILY STATUS

Q. Can I be asked whether I have children?

A. No, employers should avoid asking job applicants whether they have children or other dependants.

They should also avoid asking for details about dependants, such as their age. The Act protects people from discrimination because they have (or do not have) children or other dependants.

FLEXIBILITY

Q. At my job interview can I ask for flexible work hours so I can take care of my children after school?

A. Yes, a job applicant can always ask an employer about flexible working hours. If they're granted, they'll become part of the terms of employment.

From March 2015 anyone is entitled to ask their employer for flexible working arrangements and there is no limit to how often they may do so. Employers must respond to such requests within one month. The employer can refuse the request only on one of the grounds set out in the Employment Relations Act and the employee can appeal the employer’s decision. You can learn more here.

The Human Rights Commission considers that flexible work arrangements are an important element in providing equal employment opportunities to groups who are often overlooked or marginalised, parents and carers in particular.