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


Trade union: See Union membership


Q. Can an employer refuse to hire a job applicant with a tattoo when image is critical to the business?

A. A policy banning tattoos is not unlawful. However, when enforcing such a policy an employer needs to be aware that if the tattoo has religious or ethnic significance a complaint of indirect discrimination could be made.

Q. Am I protected by the Act if I suspect my moko was the reason for not getting the job?

A. Yes, if you suspect that having a moko was the reason for not getting a job you can make a discrimination complaint.


Q. Should I disclose in the interview that I'm transgender?

A. In most cases it's solely your decision whether you disclose you're transgender, as your sex or gender identity has no bearing on your ability to do the job.

In some very limited circumstances, it is legal to employ only a woman or a man for a particular position; ie being female or male is a genuine occupational qualification. In these infrequent situations, some transgender people may need to provide evidence about their sex.

Q. Am I able to ask a transgender job applicant for any previous name, in order to verify identity?

A. If previous name details are required from all applicants, for a specific purpose, then you can ask a transgender applicant to provide the details.

As disclosure of the information might have significant additional implications for a transgender job applicant, reassurance should be given that the information will only be used to verify identity and not for any other reason.

It would be discriminatory to ask a transgender person to provide details of their previous name if this information was not required from other applicants. Discrimination against transgender people comes under the grounds of sex in the Act. Information about human rights and transgender/trans people can be found at:


Q. Can I be asked if I have proven understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi?

A. It will depend on the particular job you are applying for.

In some cases having an understanding of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi will be a requirement of the job and genuine occupational requirement. In other cases, given the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand's constitutional principles, an understanding or knowledge of it may well be necessary and desirable. This is different from requiring a commitment to the Treaty or making a job conditional on commitment to it. Information about the Treaty of Waitangi can be found at: