It was reported on 16 August that unemployment on the Sunshine Coast has risen from 5.3% in June to 8.8% in July. With the unemployment rate increasing by more than 60%, and the resultant decrease in job opportunities, employers can expect an increase in applications for vacant positions. With the increase in applicants employers might find the recruitment process more challenging.
Lisa Aitken, Managing Partner of Aitken Legal says that employers need to be aware of pre-employment legal risks and issues that can arise through the recruitment process including on determining the right applicant for the position, when offering that person employment, and informing other applicants they have been unsuccessful.
The aim of filling a vacant position is to find the right person for the job – and in doing so, concentration needs to be mainly focused on their qualifications for and ability to perform the duties of the position and fit into your workplace culture. In doing so, employers need to be extremely careful not to discriminate against applicants in any way.
‘It is really important for employers to understand the risks with discrimination and workplace laws during the recruitment process, including what questions they can and cannot ask an applicant. One simple question could lead an applicant to believe that they did not get the job due to their answer to that question and lead them to believe they have been discriminated or adversely acted against. Discrimination in pre-employment is just as unlawful as discrimination during employment and the consequences of a claim could be financially devastating.’
Aitken legal are running Employment Law Briefings every two months at their offices on Innovation Parkway, Birtinya. The next briefing is being held on Monday 10 September 2012 at 8.00am and will cover the topic of Pre-employment legal risks and issues for Employers.
These Employment Law Briefings are free for businesses to attend and will cover a different employment law topic each session. For more information please visit www.aitkenlegal.com.au or phone: 5413 4000.