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

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A Workable, Less Discriminatory
Equal Employment Opportunity Process.

In this final part Graeme and I would like to state the overview of what we believe might be a better manner of collecting disability information during the Employment Process that can remove all initial potential for discrimination.

The Collection of disability information.

At present many departments and agencies collect this information on application which is then potentially used in a discriminatory manner, and then destroyed. We suggest that this is an errant practice and there is a better way.

Firstly let us agree that most people are honest and would if given the opportunity voluntarily declare a disability that they may have. Some will not, we also understand that. However, if each application form does not ask for disability information but states that such information is expected to be mentioned by the applicant / candidate at the time of interview then we believe we can all move forward in a number of areas and remove one potential point where discrimination might potentially occur.

A "less discriminatory" Workable Process

Consider the following:
1)   Employers and / or their agents can still be made aware of any possible assistance that a candidate might require during the interview process by asking candidates to inform the relevant office of any need(s) they may have in the letter of invitation to the interview process. (This letter might also include a reminder that candidates are expected to self-disclose during the interview process.)

2)   Giving people the opportunity to self-declare at interview offers to them more respect and the opportunity to choose to be honest, open and upfront. (All of which, we might agree, are characteristics of a good employee.)

3)   Giving people the opportunity to self-declare at this time also affords them a clear instance when any concerns or issues that interviewers might have can be discussed and addressed by the candidate and the interviewer together. (Affording both candidate and potential employer clear opportunity to resolve any potential issues and set in place practical steps toward employment for a likely suitable disabled candidate.)

4)   If a person chooses not to voluntarily self-declare during the interview process, then the interviewers should ask the candidate if they have any further information to share in regard to health or disability or other relevant issues before the interview is then concluded. (Giving both parties a second and final opportunity to work through any issues or concerns.)

5)   If a person does not declare and is later found to have misled the interviewers, the repercussion, if any, is the sole responsibility of the candidate. (Having been made aware of the expectation prior to interview and asked the question prior to conclusion of the interview process the candidate is without excuse and can not claim discrimination on the basis of disability.)

6)   Should a candidate self-declare then at this point in the interview process the disability information should be recorded and necessary forms filled out and filed with a separate office. (The candidate must be made aware that the data collected will be held on file for a period of no longer than 18 months, and that this information will not include any information that would lead to personal identification. But only the date, position applied for, department or agency and disability information will be retained for the sole purpose of "Equal Employment Analysis.")

A better way forward.

It is our contention that in the above process
it is possible to totally remove the first potential instance for discrimination against any person on any grounds in the Employment Process.

It is also our contention that;
by beginning the process in this manner we are giving all those involved greater opportunity for discussion, and treating all people with the greater respect that they deserve.

It is our final contention that;
In a process along these lines we can clearly identify potential areas, or individuals who might be potentially discriminatory in their practices or the process. (Which we might agree is a positive out come for all persons and agencies.)

In Closing.
It seems to us that by the institution of guidelines along this manner the New Zealand State Services may once more lead the way for New Zealand employers in a much less potentially discriminatory manner. We do not imagine for one minute that we can ever totally remove potential discriminatory practices or discrimination itself from our Nation. However that does not mean we should not do our utmost to lessen the possibilities and remove the "potential" where and when we can.

Which leaves only one unanswered question,

Will the State Services Commission in New Zealand pick up the ball and run with it?
Are Human Resource personal within New Zealands State Service Departments, Agencies and organizations willing to carry on the process of discussion and change? Or do those with the authority and power to institute the changes, truly prefer the myth of the present "unEqual Employment Opportunity" guidelines?

Ok, so that's three questions, but, Are you willing?

Thank you, for taking the time to read and we hope seriously consider the content of this document.

Graeme Axford.
Malcolm Williams.

Authors Footnote:
(This document or any part thereof may be freely used, transmitted or republished in any form or manner by any person for any purpose that moves toward a more inclusive and equal society for all peoples where all potential for discrimination on any basis is lessened or God and mankind willing removed for good among the human race in everyday worldly affairs.)

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