Friday, 3 July 2015

Can Employers in NZ ask about childcare in interviews?

So can employers ask about marital status, do we have children, or who looks after the kids when they are sick?

As most of us will no doubt suspect, the short answer is 'no'.

It is an infringement of our human rights under NZ's Human Rights Act (1993) to discriminate on grounds of age (from 16 years onwards), employment status, ethical belief (or not), colour, disability, ethnic or national origins, family status (having dependents, not having dependents, being married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, a particular person or being a relative of a particular person), marital status (single, married, in a civil union or a de facto relationship, separated, a party to a marriage or civil union now dissolved, widowed), political opinion (or not), race, religious belief, sex (includes childbirth and pregnancy) and sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, bisexual).

Interestingly, we don’t protect against discrimination on the grounds of physical appearance or body image, as does the UK.

I am sure most of us has been asked something which is illegal... and probably quite recently!

What do you think is the best way to educate employers?


  • Chemers, Martin M., Oskamp, Stuart & Costanzo, Mark (1995) Diversity in organizations: new perspectives for a changing workplace. USA: Sage Publications Inc
  • TVNZ (2015). What information is an employer or recruiter allowed to ask? Retrieved 1 July 2015 from

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