Can an employer ask previous employers for information about a job applicant?
In most circumstances personal information should be collected directly from a job applicant unless the applicant grants permission to do otherwise. Generally an employer should not seek information about a job applicant from a current or former employer without the job applicant’s consent.
How long should an employer hold the Curriculum Vitae (Cv) of an unsuccessful applicant?
It is a good idea for the employer and the job applicant to agree on how long the CV will be kept before it is destroyed. Sometimes this can be overlooked so it is a good idea for an employer to establish a standard set of procedures dealing with how long CVs will be retained. It is appropriate to allow a reasonable period of time to pass before an employer either returns or destroys the CVs of the unsuccessful applicants.
If I am an unsuccessful applicant can I ask for my CV to be returned and for all information about me to be destroyed?
Yes, you can ask for this to happen but it is necessary to be aware that an employer can use information about unsuccessful job applicants if a complaint is made about the decision as to who to employ. Unsuccessful candidates’ CVs may be kept on file in case other vacancies arise, but the employer and job applicants should agree on this during pre-employment processes.
see also » Unsuccessful application
Can an applicant access information that an employer collects in the course of assessing applications?
Yes, the Privacy Act does, however, provide limited reasons for withholding of material, for example when a reference has been supplied in confidence. If a request for access is refused, the applicant can ask the Privacy Commissioner to investigate whether or not the refusal was justified. The Privacy Commissioner can be contacted by phone on 0800 803 909 or by email: email@example.com