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



Q. Does the Act cover being a trade union member?

A. No, the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Act do not cover being a member of a trade union.

From time to time proposals have been made to include trade union activity as a prohibited ground of discrimination but they have not made it into the Act. There is case law in New Zealand suggesting that if there's a clear connection between the government and its policies and the activity being undertaken by the union or its members, the activity amounts to expression of a political opinion. Discrimination on the grounds of political opinion is prohibited by the Act.

More information about union membership is covered by the Employment Relations Act


Q. What are my rights to access information if I'm an unsuccessful job applicant?

A. Under the Privacy Act an unsuccessful applicant has the right to personal information, which would include any notes written during the interview by a panel member.

Best practices for the interview panels include:

  • asking all applicants a standard set of questions
  • conducting standard work tests for all applicants
  • developing scoring templates set against objective criteria drawn from the job description
  • panel members systematically using templates
  • retaining all notes made by panel members until after the successful applicant starts work.

See also: Privacy