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The South African Competition Act
Is it legal to hand over confidential information contained in your pay slip when applying to a competitor employer?
Sending a pay slip to a competitor means applicants divulge confidential information negatively impacting on a company’s right to fair competition for talent.
Demanding to see rival employer pay slips during recruitment is a controversial practice that has been criticized by many professionals and organizations.
Asked for Your Pay Slip: Here are some reasons why it is wrong:
- It can lead to unfair hiring practices: If recruiters or employers demand to see rival employer pay slips, it can result in unfair hiring practices. For example, if they use this information to offer a candidate a salary that is just slightly higher than their current salary, it can be seen as an attempt to poach that employee. This practice can also create a situation where employees are valued solely based on their previous salaries, rather than their skills and experience.
- It can perpetuate pay discrimination: If recruiters or employers use rival employer pay slips as a basis for offering salaries, it can perpetuate pay discrimination. This is because some employees may have been underpaid in their previous jobs, which can reflect in their pay slips. Using this information to offer a lower salary than what the employee is worth can lead to wage gaps between different groups of people, such as women, minorities, or people with disabilities.
- It is an invasion of privacy: Demanding to see rival employer pay slips can be seen as an invasion of privacy. These pay slips contain confidential information about an employee’s salary and benefits, which should not be shared without their consent. Moreover, it is not relevant to the current job application, and the employee may not want to share this information.
- It can harm the company’s reputation: Using rival employer pay slips can harm the company’s reputation. This practice can make potential candidates feel uneasy and may lead to negative perceptions of the company. Furthermore, it can damage relationships with other companies and create a hostile work environment.
- It is illegal in some jurisdictions: In some jurisdictions, demanding to see rival employer pay slips during recruitment is illegal. In the United States, several states have enacted laws that prohibit this practice, including California, New York, and Massachusetts.
In conclusion, demanding to see rival employer pay slips during recruitment is a controversial practice that has been criticized by many professionals and organizations. It can lead to unfair hiring practices, perpetuate pay discrimination, invade privacy, harm the company’s reputation, and may even be illegal in some jurisdictions. Employers and recruiters should avoid using this practice and instead focus on evaluating candidates based on their skills, experience, and value to the company.