SHOULD WE CHANGE EMPLOYMENT LAWS?

There are two piles of applications for your vacancy on your desk.

The first pile is small: those will be the ones to get an interview. The second one is the unsuccessful ones, the ones on their way to the bin.

Now, have another look: let’s say that you disregard age, sex and name and only look at their suitability for the job. Can you honestly say that you have been fair in your initial assessment? Did you assume that because someone is 59 years old they are computer illiterate? Is your waste-paper basket going to consume that female with two degrees and solid experience in your field because you thought that she might need time off to look after children? Or maybe you couldn’t pronounce the name of the very best candidate whose contribution to your company would be way ahead of the pack, so you didn’t consider him.

Your job is not to do what seems easy, but to understand that you are seeking great employees and not looking for a suitable marriage partner.

There is a case for changing the law to allow age, sex and name of applicants for jobs to be blanked out in order to give job-seekers a fair go. Women are under-represented at board level all over Australia at a rate of under 15% of the total. Recently many board jobs without pay have been offered which do nothing to change the situation other than insulting well-qualified women.

The government are keen for older persons to stay in the workforce, however there is age-based discrimination all over the country with the numbers of over-fifties finding it very difficult to obtain work.

Failure to give everyone a fair go can only result in changes to employment laws.