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Job Application Form

Version 1.0 Updated 19 Mar 2018
Forms & Checklists Recruitment

Who can use this form?

This form can be used by all employers.

Commentary
 
Why use a job application form?

The purpose of a job application form is to gather sufficient preliminary information from an applicant. This information enables the employer to review the pool of candidates to gain an initial view of their suitability for the prospective employment. It is not meant to be an in-depth assessment of a candidate.

General

The information sought from the applicant should relate to their qualifications and ability to perform the essential and desirable criteria for the job, and should not seek personal information unrelated to their ability to perform the role.

Inappropriate personal questions can influence decisions about an applicant's suitability for the job, and may result in unlawful discrimination. Workplace offers subscribers a range of relevant policies listed under "Related Documents" to the right of this page, which provide further guidance in this area.  
 
In summary, employers should be careful not to include irrelevant and/or unlawful questions in a job application form, including questions that relate to the following attributes of the applicant:

  • sex;
  • marital status;
  • family or carer's responsibilities;
  • pregnancy or plans to have children;
  • breastfeeding;
  • age;
  • disability, impairment, medical history, sick leave, or workers compensation record;
  • racial background or country of birth;
  • religion;
  • political belief, opinion, affiliation, conviction or activity;
  • trade union membership or attitude to unions;
  • sexuality or sexual preference;
  • lawful sexual activity;
  • transsexuality/transgender;
  • defence service; and
  • criminal record.

 

It is important to have in place a detailed job description prior to applications being called, as each job may require the form to be modified so that the applicant’s ability to perform the essential and desirable criteria can be assessed.

Essential and desirable criteria will usually include such things as educational qualifications, previous experience, and driver’s licence, as well as other skills which are essential or desirable for the person performing the job to have.

It is also a good idea to include questions relating to any special skills required for the job, e.g. truck driver’s licence, or any special working conditions, e.g. weekend work.
 
Where working outside the normal range or hours, overtime, weekend work or if interstate travel may be required, it is acceptable to ask if the applicant would be able to meet these requirements.

Photographs

As a general rule, photographs of applicants should not be requested. Irrelevant requests for a photograph may lead to recruitment decisions being made on the basis of the personal biases of the decision maker for discriminatory reasons, and for this reason is not recommended.

Disability/past workers compensation claims

Legal advice should be sought before asking any job applicant questions about their medical background, disability, and past or current workers’ compensation claims. In Queensland, an employee may not be entitled to workers compensation if they aggravate a pre-existing condition at work in circumstances where the employer has asked a prospective employee during the recruitment process whether they have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions and the prospective employee knowingly provided the employer with a false or misleading response. This request must be made in writing. The existence of a pre-existing injury or illness does not automatically mean that the employer does not need to offer of employment to the prospective employee. Instead, the employer will need to consider whether the pre-existing injury or illness could reasonably be expected to be aggravated by performing the employment related duties and if any reasonable adjustments could be made to minimise the risk of re-injury or aggravation.

Criminal records

You should obtain advice if you intend to conduct a criminal records check, as discrimination issues can arise, and particular authorisation may be required from the job applicant to enable you to conduct the check.

Review

Job application forms should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they seek only information relevant to the job/position in question.

To ensure you achieve a policy that meets all your needs we suggest you obtain specific legal advice regarding the questions you ask.

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