What information should a job applicant (prospective employee) disclose at a job interview?
In the case between the Gauteng Department of Education (the GDE) and Mgijima the Labour Court held that it is an employee’s duty to disclose any information that could affect the decision to employ the employee (job applicant).
It was learnt from this case that potential employees must reveal any and all circumstances that could influence the possible employment relationship. An employer can take action if they do not disclose relevant circumstances. The specifics and seniority of the position determines what information is relevant and what candidates must disclose. It also depends on the information the employer specifically asks for.
It is advisable that employers should develop a full questionnaire that is given to potential candidates. An employer should include specific questions that require answers that could affect the decision to offer employment to the employee. Include a question that asks the employee directly of any previous dismissals or disciplinary action. Include a non-disclosure clause in the employment contracts that states that if an employee has not disclosed certain information, disciplinary action will be taken.
This way the employer can prove that the question was asked and got dishonest information in return which could lead to the dismissal of the dishonest employee.
In our next article we will provide more information on the facts of the Gauteng Department of Education (the GDE) and Mgijima case, the arbitrator’s finding and the Court’s decision.
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