4 September The spousal conundrum: Refusing to employ someone's spouse September 4, 2018 By Reef Admin Fair Work Act, General 0 Is it discrimination to refuse to employ someone because their husband or wife works for a competitor? Let’s find out. Consider this scenario. You’re looking to employ a new sales representative. You select the person that’s most ideally suited for the position. But after doing a reference check, you discover the spouse of your selected candidate works for your biggest competitor! You feel there’s a real danger of your agency’s clients being exposed and you decide to withdraw the offer of employment to the candidate. Is this discrimination? Could you be leaving your agency open to action under the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009? In this scenario, the job candidate was rejected for reasons specifically relating to the spouse; i.e. employment of the spouse with a competitor could create a conflict of interest. An extended meaning of “marital status” in discrimination legislation to include the characteristics of a person’s spouse has generally been rejected by courts and tribunals. It doesn’t extend to the identity or situation of one’s spouse and therefore no discrimination would occur. However, it would be discrimination if a person is not hired due to the perceived stereotypes relating to that person’s marital status. If in doubt … If your business is confronted with a similar situation relating to marital status, call the REEF Helpline on 1300 616 170 to discuss the matter with one of our Workplace Relations Advisors. Related Real Estate Industry Award: Out with the old, in with the new After a long battle, the Fair Work Commission has now finalised the four-year award review and the new Real Estate Industry Award will commence on 2 April 2018. Here's what you need to know before the changes kick in. Coronavirus - Employment Q&As (part 1) The REEF Helpline has been inundated with calls regarding the Coronavirus and its impact on employment. To address some of your questions, please take the time to read the following essential information. Coronavirus - Employment Q&As (part 2) The REEF Helpline has been inundated with calls regarding the Coronavirus and its impact on employment. To address some of your questions, please take the time to read the following essential information. How can I restrain an ex-employee's conduct? It’s a common misconception that a post-employment restraint in an employee’s contract of employment isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. But the absence of a restraint leaves you with very limited opportunity to restrain an ex-employee's objectionable conduct. Buying an agency? You need to understand employee entitlements The sale of a real estate agency is something most business owners will face at some point. Here are some things to be aware of when it comes to employee entitlements. All aboard: New employee checklist for real estate employers Successful recruitment takes time and effort. As an employer, you need to ensure your new employee is properly introduced to their role and your business. Here's your new employee checklist. Comments are closed.