Tuesday 24 April 2018

NUI Galway suspends ‘misogynistic’ questionnaire

NUI Galway campus
NUI Galway campus

David Kearns

NUI Galway has suspended its controversial questionnaire which asked prospective employees a series of deeply personal questions.

The medical assessment had asked for information from candidates about periods, breast problems and prostate issues.

Following revelations in Galway City Tribune, NUIG took the decision to suspend the questionnaire after it was widely criticised.

Among the questions asked were: “Do you suffer with any problems with your menstrual periods? Do you suffer any breast problems? Have you ever been treated for gynaecological problems?”

The questionnaire replaced a medical exam in 2008.

Read More: University's questions on menstrual cycles and breast problems 'totally out of order' and 'misogynistic' - Senator

Following widespread media attention, NUIG said they would be reviewing their pre-screening process to ensure “it follows best practice in the area”.

In a statement, the university said it had taken: “on board the concerns that have been raised about… [asking] female job applicants about their menstrual cycle.”

“No person is deemed unfit for employment on the basis of the information disclosed on the occupational pre-placement health assessment form alone."

“This process takes place after a candidate has been offered a position and forms no part of the job interview," the university said.

Read More: Former lecturer who won €70k gender discrimination case urges college staff to join her in protest

Defending the questionnaire, it said that its questions had been provided by its Occupational Health services and was in line with best practice nationally.

“Many organisations in Ireland and the UK use a similar process to determine the health of future employees,” they added.

The Connacht Tribune first reported on the assessment, which has been described as "invasive", "misogynistic" and "excessively personal".

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