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



Q. Can an employer advertise for a “girl Friday”, a “barmaid”, a "barman”, a “waiter”, “waitress”?

A. The Act prohibits the use of gender-specific words in job advertisements (for example barman) unless the advertisement makes it clear that the job is open to all to apply.

Q. Can an employer advertise for a staff member to work in a “fast-paced, high-energy, noisy environment with no experience needed but a sense of humour essential?”

A. Nothing in the Act prohibits this type of advertisement.

However, if the words and description are interpreted as code for “no one aged over 25 need apply” then an older applicant might complain of indirect age discrimination.

Q. Can an employer advertise for a “mature” worker?

A. No, the word “mature” is often associated with age and is probably best avoided.

Alternative words such as “responsible” or “capable” or “possess initiative” or “have good judgment” usually more accurately describe the qualities employees need to have.

Q. Can an employer advertise for applicants with te reo Mâori expertise?

A. Yes, so long as te reo Mâori expertise is a required job competency.

Q. Am I responsible as an employer for a job advertisement placed by a recruitment consultant?

A. Yes. If a recruitment consultant places a job advertisement on behalf of an employer, both the recruitment consultant and the employer are liable for any breaches of the Act.