As an employer, have you ever ever puzzled whether or not you may ask a possible worker about their wage historical past throughout a job interview? Or alternatively, as an worker, have you ever ever puzzled whether or not an employer can ask you about your wage historical past throughout a job interview? It’s a query that’s generally requested, however is it authorized?
On this article, we’ll clarify whether or not employers can legally ask an worker for his or her wage historical past throughout a job interview, whether or not workers are required to reply questions relating to wage historical past, and solutions to different steadily requested questions.
Can employers legally ask for a possible worker’s wage throughout a job interview?
The brief reply is sure. Employers can legally ask potential workers about their wage historical past throughout a job interview. Australian Anti-Discrimination laws doesn’t ban questions which might be used to assemble particular details about a possible worker’s wage historical past. Moreover, Anti-Discrimination laws additionally doesn’t ban employers from asking questions that can be utilized for them to find out an worker’s wage historical past.
As an alternative, Anti-Discrimination laws bans questions in regard to different traits of a person that aren’t related to whether or not they can carry out a job. Though it may be argued that an worker’s wage historical past is irrelevant in regard to figuring out whether or not an worker can carry out a job, anti-discrimination laws doesn’t prohibit employers from asking questions relating to wage historical past.
As well as, Equal Alternative laws equivalent to Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act 1995 means that asking potential workers for past-Wage historical past will be moderately requested in a non-discriminatory method. For instance, an employer could select to ask interviewees about their wage historical past with a view to decide a good market wage, they usually can negotiate the market wage with workers in the course of the interview course of.
Nonetheless, this might quantity to discriminatory conduct below Fair Work Act 2009 if the interviewee finds a particular piece of proof or has an inexpensive perception that the interviewer was being unreasonable and unethical of their decision-making after discovering their wage historical past.
Whether it is discovered that an interviewer obtained wage historical past info for discriminatory functions (equivalent to forming a prejudice primarily based or denying an interviewee alternative), it will be unlawful. Due to this fact, employers are typically suggested to keep away from asking an interviewee for his or her wage historical past as a result of this query will be unlawful relying on the rationale it’s being requested, and for this reason there have been discussions about banning employers from asking about salary history.
In situations when employers ask a couple of candidate’s wage historical past, the most effective pursuits of the interviewer are balanced in opposition to the most effective pursuits of the enterprise. A enterprise could have an inherent bias in hiring high quality workers at a decrease wage as a result of the enterprise desires to economize. Nonetheless, these claims are typically speculative and ambiguous.
Why do employers ask workers for his or her earlier wage historical past throughout job interviews?
There are a number of causes an interviewer could select to ask an interviewee for his or her wage historical past. Two major causes embrace the next:
- A major purpose most interviewers ask an interviewee for his or her wage historical past throughout an interview is with a view to decide the interviewee’s ‘market price ticket’
- Interviewees additionally generally ask an interviewee for his or her wage historical past in order that they’ll negotiate a wage vary relying on an worker’s ability degree
If you’re a potential interviewee, we suggest that you just verify your employment settlement to find out whether or not there’s a contractual time period contained in your employment contract that forestalls you from disclosing your previous earnings and wage historical past to interviewers.
Moreover, it is best to verify whether or not there may be an enforceable and legitimate pay-secrecy clause in your employment contract that may stop you from disclosing your present wage.
What’s discrimination in interviews?
The Australian Human Rights Commission defines discrimination as when a person or a bunch of people are negatively handled in comparison with different people or teams of people on the idea of their background or particular person attributes.
For instance, an employer may select to not rent a certified candidate on the idea of their race, and they’re going to select to rent a person from a special race even when they’re much less certified for the place.
What can’t employers ask workers about throughout job interviews?
Section 351(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009(Cth) outlines the grounds on which employers are prohibited from discriminating in opposition to potential workers on the idea of. These embrace the next:
- Sexual desire
- Bodily or psychological incapacity
- Marital standing
- Household or carer duties
- Being pregnant
- Nationwide extraction or social origin
This part of the Honest Work Act can also be supported by different legislative Acts, together with the next:
Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to part 351(1) contained in section 351(2) that permits discrimination primarily based on these grounds within the following circumstances:
- The place taking the motion was required by the job’s important necessities
- The place the motion just isn’t unlawful in accordance with some other anti‑discrimination laws that’s in power within the location the place the motion was taken
In line with Australian laws, interviewers could ask interviewees for info to find out their capacity to carry out a job whether it is moderately wanted for non-discriminatory functions.
How does discrimination apply to questions relating to Wage Historical past?
To reply this query, the very first thing that should be mentioned entails what info interviewers obtain when they’re supplied with an interviewee’s wage historical past.
An interviewee’s wage historical past can embrace the next info:
- The names of every firm they’ve labored for
- The job titles they’ve had
- The wage(pay) they have been receiving for every earlier place
- The advantages they have been receiving with every place
- The entitlements they have been receiving with every place
- The areas they have been working in
- Whether or not they had any wage deductions
An interviewee’s wage historical past doesn’t mirror their worth within the new place, as each job task is completely different. Moreover, it doesn’t present potential employers how good they have been at their jobs, their ardour, enthusiasm, their capacity to work in a group, or the expertise the interview has, as there are overpaid and underpaid folks throughout the market.
Due to this fact, it appears cheap to conclude that wage historical past isn’t fully related to an worker’s job efficiency.
What do I do if I’m requested about my Wage Historical past?
You’ll be able to select to reply questions on your wage historical past, or you may select to politely decline the interviewer’s query. If you happen to select to say no the query, the interviewer could also be extra inclined to clarify why they should know your wage historical past, making the query extra moral and fewer discriminatory.
Alternatively, you can too select to supply a versatile reply by placing ahead a wage vary. For instance, you can state, “I’m incomes within the mid-fifties,” or maybe give them a spread of two numbers to work with.
As an interviewee, you ought to be conscious that it’s unethical and unwise to lie about your wage historical past if requested. Doing so might backfire if the interviewee discovers your precise wage historical past or verifies it. A significant drawback of offering your wage historical past to an worker is that it might present your potential worker with a leg up within the wage negotiation course of.
Specifically, that is true because it’s extremely unlikely that your potential employer will give you info relating to the enterprise’ current income, financial worth, and so on. As an interviewee, it’s necessary for you to pay attention to your rights to be able to establish probably discriminatory or unethical questions throughout your interview or recruitment course of.
What can workers do if they’ve been discriminated in opposition to throughout a job interview?
As an worker, in the event you imagine you will have been discriminated in opposition to throughout a job interview, you can also make a declare to the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman(FWO) on-line or by calling them. Equally, you can also make a declare with the Fair Work Commission(FWC), or you may search help from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) or some other related anti-discrimination physique.
For a declare to be legitimate, an interviewee would wish to both:
- Determine the interviewer’s illegal query or;
- Discover a particular piece of proof that moderately infers discrimination on behalf of the interviewer both in the course of the interview or in post-interview dialogue/decision-making
If a declare is discovered to be legitimate, the FWO will examine and probably file a lawsuit for illegal office discrimination in opposition to the employer for breaching the Honest Work Act. If the motion is discovered to be discriminatory, the employer will face penalties, and the potential worker shall be awarded a treatment.
In the end, as an interviewee, you ought to be conscious that interviewers can legally ask you on your wage historical past, however you aren’t required to reply the query. As an employer, you ought to be conscious you can ask interviewees about their wage historical past. Nonetheless, you may’t ask this query for discriminatory functions.
If you happen to’re an interviewee and also you imagine you will have been requested about your wage historical past for discriminatory functions, it is best to rent a lawyer for authorized recommendation to find out whether or not you may take motion in opposition to the employer who has probably discriminated in opposition to you.
Alternatively, in the event you’re an employer and also you’re nonetheless not sure about whether or not it is best to ask your potential workers about their wage historical past, you must also rent a lawyer for authorized recommendation to keep away from potential authorized penalties.