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Human Rights Errors that lead to an unEqual Employment Opportunity and Discrimination.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Data in the Public Sector

The ironic thing is (was) the Child Youth and Family application form July 2008, page 2

Example from the CYF Application Form July 2008.
Do you have, or have you ever had, a medical condition caused by an injury, illness, disability or gradual process that the tasks of the position may aggravate or contribute to, or that may affect your ability to carry out the work of the position applied for? If "yes", please give brief details: Yes No

On the Equal Employment Opportunites form, from the 2004 Application you will in fact notice there is no disability question. That's right none at all. They ask about gender and ethnicity, but not disability.

As you can see they ask the disability questions on the application form and leave it off the EEO. That means after having declared a disability there is know way of monitoring is you are being discrimination against.

You can read the lawyers argument for and against that rather then me go over it again.

In your email you refer to my previous advice that our research shows many disabled candidates do not like to identify as disabled at application stage and contrast that with the request in the CYF application form for "any other factors that (CYF) should know to assess your suitability for appointment". You say that this statement would require you to provide information about your disability.

You are correct in saying that where such a question is asked and the applicant has a disability that could affect the ability to do the job it must be disclosed. Failure to do so would provide an employer with legal cause to dismiss the appointee. However, if the disability would not affect suitability for employment it would not have to be disclosed. (Note that this question could in fact relate to other things, for example, a conflict of interest, or a need for flexible working on the part of the applicant.)

An employer asking the question would need to be prepared to show that all the relevant information had been fairly considered, and to give a reason for non-appointment if the decision were made on the basis of the factors disclosed by the candidate. If a candidate, answering such a question, considered that they had been discriminated against because of their disability their remedy would be to make a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal, as unlawful discrimination in employment.

State Services Commission Advised;

These pages have been written by Graeme on the fly, sometimes with, but more often without the aid of software. Knowing that Graeme has dyslexia is also accepting that these pages contain broken sentences, spelling and grammatical errors along with other errors that are left largely unedited.

Welcome to his world.

Application forms
Consider the needs of applicants with different disabilities. Information for applications should be in alternative formats where requested - electronic, large print, Braille or tape.

Allow candidates with disabilities to submit an application in a different format from that specified for other candidates - e.g. typewritten, by telephone, on tape or email.

Where someone has supplied email information and requested an email reply, honour that request, even if established procedure requires a letter to be sent as well. (This person may be visually impaired.)

Remove unnecessary questions about disabilities from application forms. If questions are asked about disabilities, the reason for doing so needs to be stated. For example, some departments will include a question on disability as part of the questionnaire to collect EEO information. SSC has recommended the following question can be asked as part of its guidance on EEO data in the Public Service: "Do you have any disability that restricts you in performing everyday activities and which is long-term (lasting 6 months or more)?".

Human resources staff should separate EEO statistical information (collected at the pre-selection stage) from other candidate application materials, prior to these reaching the interview panel. (General information on the collection of EEO disability statistical information is contained in Appendix 2.)

In general, applications forms should seek only information that is directly relevant to the job and to the candidate's ability to do it.

This SSC Advisory will be updated soon I have been told…

This then sets the background to the following discussion and dialogue, between Graeme and
the Office of Human Rights Commission in New Zealand.

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