- Nepotism in Perspective
- Absentieesm Management: Putting the Wagon behind the Horse
- Non disclosure at Job Interviews
- Double Jeopardy
- Probation in a nutshell
- Resination: A Unilateral Act
- Land Reform for farmers
- The Marikana experience
- The self-supervising employee
- Constructive dismissal
- The New Revolution in Labour
- Under the influence
- Equal Pay
- Non Disclosure

Non disclosure at Job Interviews

The issue of a failure to disclose important information during a job interview is important in the recruitment process. In a case that served before the Labour Appeal Court a candidate applied for a position at a stage when she was suspended by her current employer pending the outcome of an inquiry into serious allegations of misconduct to be brought against her. During the final interview for the job of deputy director general, she was specifically asked whether she “had any skeletons in the closet” to which she responded in the negative. The truth of the matter was that she was suspended at the time of the interview, although the formal charges had not been served on her at the time of the interview. Between the date of the interview and her appointment by the new employer, she was served with the formal charges but entered into a settlement agreement with the old employer that the disciplinary charges against her be withdrawn against her resignation from the old employer. The new employer found out about the circumstances surrounding the termination of her employment shortly after appointment and sought to terminate her services on the basis that her non – disclosure constituted a gross failure to comply with the standards of trust, honesty and integrity required of prospective employees, particularly having regards to the senior position she was appointed in. The arbitrator found in favor of the employee on the basis that a person in SA law remains innocent until proven guilty, and, because she had not been found guilty of any misconduct at the time of the interview, she was under no obligation to disclose the fact of her suspension pending a substantial number of serious misconduct charges against her. On review the Labour Court disagreed with the arbitrator. The Labour Court found that the arbitrator overlooked the fundamental point that, at the time of the interview, and, during the course of the negotiations on the terms of her contract, the allegations had not been withdrawn against her. The relevant issue did not relate to the fact of her guilt or innocence , but the non-disclosure of her suspension in the face of serious disciplinary charges during her interview and the negotiations leading up to the signing of a contract of employment with the new employer. The post for which she applied was a senior post requiring unimpeachable honesty and integrity. Her failure to disclose material information in response to an express invitation to do so, deprived her new employer of the opportunity to make an informed decision as to the effect that the suspension and pending charges may have had on the contemplated employment relationship. The decision does in my view not establish a general duty on prospective employees to disclose information. It underlines the importance of proper information gathering during the recruitment process. Written by Danie Swanepoel 26 September 2014

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