In a Decision of 27 February 2014, the Human Rights Review Tribunal of New Zealand determined that as part of the employer’s obligation, it was required to disclose the C.V.’s and personal information of other applicants regarding an unsuccessful Applicant who was alleging he was discriminated against on the basis of age.
The Tribunal stated that it was understandable that a person who submits an application for employment would ordinarily have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality as would a person providing a reference. However, The Evidence Act is not dependent on the expectation of the person who has made the communication or provided the information. The Evidence Act envisages that all relevant information is disclosible in litigation even if it is confidential, but it may be prevented from disclosure in limited categories, and this was not such an occasion for upholding confidentiality.
The Tribunal acknowledged that there was public interest in preventing discriminatory conduct being hidden behind a cloak of confidentiality.
There are significant ramifications for employers in this Decision.