Application procedures, what is allowed and what is not allowed?

There are rules in application procedures that the employer must adhere to. For example, on what grounds may a candidate be rejected for a job? There are no rules laid down in the law about what is and is not allowed in an application procedure. The rules that apply mainly relate to legislation on equal treatment. These rules are laid down, among other things, in the Equal Treatment on the Grounds of Age Act and in the General Equal Treatment Act. The employer is obliged to handle the interests of applicants with care.

Is the application procedure aimed at one gender?

In job advertisement texts, the addition M/F is often added after the job title. The employer wants to indicate that men and women can respond to the vacancy, but is it permitted to include in the vacancy text that a man or a woman is being sought? No, that is not allowed. The employer may of course have a preference, but men or women should not be excluded in advance. Naturally, an exception is made for application procedures where a specific search for a man or woman is required. For example, you can think of a casting for an actor or an actress. In practice, the employer will have such a clear preference that the opposite sex has no chance of getting the job. The employer would be wise to handle this with caution.

Age as a selection criterion in an application procedure

Discrimination based on age is not permitted. Under the Equal Treatment on the Grounds of Age Act, it is not permitted to reject a candidate for a vacancy based on age. The same also applies to promotion, for example. Indirect discrimination in age is also not permitted. For example, a candidate cannot be rejected for a vacancy because he or she has too much experience. This actually means that the candidate is too old. In certain cases it is permitted to include age as an argument in an application procedure. The distinction must then be objectively justified. This is, for example, the case when protecting the elderly because they have a poorer labor market position.

Medical questions in an application procedure

During the job interview, no questions may be asked about the applicant’s health. The applicant must reasonably give up if a disability or medical condition will significantly affect the work.

Can the employer obtain unsolicited references from the previous employer?

If the applicant has provided references, the employer may obtain references from previous employers without further permission. By providing the reference, the employer may assume that permission has been given. Only information relating to the work to be performed may be obtained. For example, it is not permitted to obtain information about the candidate’s absenteeism due to illness.

Can the employer require a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG)?

The extent to which such a statement can be considered a requirement depends on the position. If the applicant must deal with confidential information or with children or mentally handicapped persons, a Certificate of Good Conduct may be required. It is also permitted for positions that involve handling money and goods.