Australia is an allegedly democratic nation that claims to uphold essential and long-standing fundamental human rights for its citizens, such as freedom of speech and expression, freedom of choice, freedom of religion and freedom of association. Unfortunately this is not true. We do not have freedom of speech or expression, as there are laws against expressing hatred against somebody or something. We do not have freedom of choice, as many things are banned. We do not have freedom of religion because certain religious practices such as mandated religious holidays and restrictions are imposed on people who do not believe in that religion. And we do not have freedom of association, as demonstrated by the various anti-discrimination laws and employment laws that try to force employers to engage employees with whom they do not wish to employ.
When an employer is seeking to engage people for jobs, his right to make enquiries as to the suitability of those people has been severely curtailed. The employer is not legally permitted to ask certain questions, even if those question are vital to ascertain the suitability of the prospective employees or their abilities to carry out the jobs on offer. So an employer's right to freedom of association is violated, simply because he cannot legally determine whether prospective employers are conducive to his needs or whether he wishes to associate with them in any way.
Under the current Equal Opportunities Act, an employer must not request or require someone to supply information that could be used to form the basis of discrimination. Employers cannot ask questions about a candidate's personal attributes if they are irrelevant to the role being applied for. Of course this is nonsensical and stupid, because somebody's personal attributes will impinge on their ability to even co-exist with others in the workplace, let alone be able to perform assigned tasks.
Personal attribute includes questions about age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. The government claims that the reason that job applicants cannot be asked to supply information about these attributes is because usually they have no bearing on their ability to perform the required roles. Of course this is utter nonsense, as will be clearly shown. For example, the following questions will usually be unlawful in most interviews:
The government claims that in most cases, the answer to these questions will not shed any light whatsoever on a person's ability to actually do the job and therefore, the questions could be used to discriminate against them. But what happened to an employer's fundamental freedom of choice to be able to determine whether he wants to associate with a job candidate who may have views that the employer considers to be abhorrent? Should an employee not have the right to find out whether he wants to employ such a person? Examining the various 'illegal' questions clearly reveals why the current employment laws are patently stupid and abrogate an employer's various fundamental human rights.
In normal circumstances, this would not be an issue. But for instance, what if an employer is homophobic and doesn't want homosexuals around him? Homophobia is not a crime, therefore forcing a person to employ somebody whose obvious sexual orientation and mannerisms are offensive to the employer is a violation of the employer's freedom of association. It has to be recognised that freedom of association means the freedom to refuse to associate with somebody for any reason. Therefore it should be the right of any employer to determine the sexual orientation of prospective candidates.
There is also the issue of suitability and ability to perform certain jobs. For example, if a biological female 'transitions' to being a 'male', which is nonsensical because nobody can change their biological gender, in most cases that female will not be able to carry out very heavy lifting jobs with the strength and endurance of a biological male. Therefore an employer could not treat that female pretending to be a male as a real male.
This is a fundamental question that every employer should automatically ask and making it illegal for him to determine a candidate's age is a violation of his rights. For instance, a young candidate applying for a job as a barman needs to prove his age, because working in the liquor industry has age limitations. If a person is hired to work in the liquor industry and lies about his age, it is the employer who will be prosecuted for employing an under-age person, unless that employer is legally entitled to determine the age of that candidate. Guesswork is no defence against prosecution.
Then there is the issue of appearance. For example, an employer who is operating a discotheque business for teens and young 20's ages should not be forced to employ a 60 year old man as a DJ liaising with kids who would not even be on the same wavelength as him. The employer would want a DJ in the same age demographic as his clientele. There are many other instances where age - young or old - is a barrier to employment.
People in Australia come from many cultures and religions and have many political leanings, some mainstream and some very extreme. Some of those cultures, religions and political views are abhorrent to others and this also includes political orientation. Under the current Fair Work Act, a Jewish employer would be acting illegally if he refused a job to a swastika-tattooed skinhead neo-Nazi on the basis of a conflict with his religion or political views. A Jewish employer would be breaking the law if he refused a job to a rabid Muslim who subscribes to a doctrine that requires him to hate and kill Jews. The chances of Jewish employees having such candidates is rather slim, but the point is that every employer must have the legal right to determine whether a job candidate can co-exist with him in harmony or not and the current laws make a mockery of this right.
There is a classic example of why employers need to have the right to discriminate on the grounds of religion. There are many documented cases of Muslims being hired by supermarkets and then refusing to carry out required tasks, such as handling bottles of liquor or packets of pork, even when they are sealed. But those Muslims did not state that they would refuse to perform those tasks when they applied for those jobs. If they had indicated that they would not perform certain duties because they conflicted with their religious beliefs, they most probably would not have been hired in the first place.
There are many cases of Muslims being hired and then demanding time for prayer at the employer's expense. This is grossly unfair to employers, who should have every right to refuse to engage Muslims on the grounds that their refusal to carry out what are normal tasks and their religious demands for special prayer time and in some cases, special 'Islamic' toilets are detrimental to the employers.
Pregnancy directly impinges on an employer's viability. If for instance an employer engages a female who is pregnant or is planning to become pregnant shortly, that employer will be faced with giving compulsory maternity leave to the female for at least one year. This involves not just paying her salary and other entitlements for a year or more, but involves hiring a replacement worker for that year or more, paying her the same wages and entitlements - in other words, paying two people when only one of them is working.
So why should an employer be placed in a position that may cost him and his business a lot of money, paying somebody to be pregnant and having a child? Why should an employer bear the cost of somebody's lifestyle choice, which having a child really is. An employee having children should not be the responsibility of any other person, therefore an employer should have the right to determine whether a job candidate's intentions might be detrimental to the viability of his business. So if a pregnant woman shows up for a job interview, an employer who considers hiring her would understand that he is letting himself in for a large financial hit. So knowing this, he would be crazy to give her a job, discrimination laws or not.
This really is a no-brainer, but whoever formulated the government's anti-discrimination laws obviously had no brains. Every employer has to determine whether a job candidate is able to carry out the work in a safe manner. For example, if it is illegal to ask this question, an employer might hire a person who has not disclosed that he suffers from epilepsy and is given the job of operating machinery that could kill somebody if that person suffers a seizure at the wrong moment. Why would an employer want to engage a person suffering from severe schizophrenia, who might be liable to grab an axe and attack him out of the blue?
We always have to be sympathetic to people with disabilities and such people should always be given employment opportunities where possible. But those people have to be able to carry out the assigned jobs safely and properly, so employers need to determine whether those physically or mentally disabled people are suitable or not, therefore the question needs to be asked. To make this question illegal is both ludicrous and grossly stupid.
This insane Act states that it is unlawful for an employer to use information obtained in an interview process to then discriminate against a person on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer's responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin. The right not to be discriminated against doesn't just apply to existing employees. It also extends to prospective employees such as job candidates and ensures that they are not denied job opportunities for discriminatory reasons.
So what happened to the employer's fundamental right to freedom of association? Why the hell should an employer not have the right to choose prospective employees if they are abhorrent to him? Why should a Jew be forced to consider a Nazi candidate? Why should anybody be forced to consider a Koran-toting fundamentalist Muslim who believes in violent Jihad against Christians and Jews? This is not only insane, but grossly unfair.
It would be ludicrously easy for an employer to stare down a charge of discrimination if he refused a job to such a fundamentalist Muslim. Imagine the savvy employer cross-examining that fundamentalist Muslim in the witness box. It would go something like this:
And that scenario demonstrates exactly why employers must have the right to ask any questions of prospective job candidates. Of course those candidates can refuse to answer any question, but then the employer can show them the door and is not even required to give them any reasons for their rejection.
If I were an employer and asked such questions and the job candidates told me that they did not want to answer them, I would politely say, "Well thank you very much for coming here. This interview is now concluded. Goodbye." And the candidates would eventually be told that the job had been filled by somebody else or had been withdrawn.
The current employment and anti-discrimination laws do exactly the opposite to what they were intended to do - they severely discriminate against employers, totally violating their right to freedom of association in many ways. Every person must have the right and freedom to associate with those with whom he chooses to associate, but this has a corollary. Every person has the right and freedom to REFUSE to associate with those whom he chooses to avoid. And every person has to right to employ any means to determine whether to associate or not with somebody.
The laws just trample on the human rights of employers and therefore they should be totally ignored. If a job candidate refuses to answer the questions that an employer puts to him, that's fine. But then the employer has the right to see the candidate straight out the door without further discussion and not even provide a reason for this.
Unjust laws need to be ignored and if the authorities decide to prosecute employers for upholding their fundamental freedom of association, then it wouldn't take much to prove to any court or tribunal that these violations of human rights are intolerable. If we don't fight for our rights, we will lose them.