Privacy Regulations: Employee RecordsDec 21, 2023
In the past few months, the Federal Government has proposed significant changes as to how sensitive personal information is collected and used for private sector employees. Under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), public sector employers need to disclose how employee information is stored and what it's used for, however, private sector employers have been exempt from this - until now!
The proposed changes will allow private sector employees information to be protected from:
- Loss; and
- Unauthorised access
and personal information will now need to be destroyed once it's no longer required by the employer.
Moving forward, when a data breach occurs involving personal information that has the possibility of causing serious harm, employees will be notified by the Information Commissioner as soon as possible.
With that being said - employers will still be able to flexibly collect, use, and disclose employee information as long as it's considered to be reasonably necessary in terms of the employment relationship. But take note employers, an employee's individual rights must still be upheld and you should always seek consent before collecting and storing an employee's sensitive personal information.
So, what's going to change?
The proposed changes will allow for privacy codes of practice to be developed which will help to clarify an employer's obligations in terms of collecting, using, and disclosing an employee's personal information.
BUT... these changes are still in the works, the Federal Government is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to develop these changes and have them implemented into legislation.
With these proposed changes, it has never been more important to ensure that you are collecting, storing, and using employee information confidentially and privately. If you're looking to implement a privacy & confidentiality policy in your workplace, please reach out to the Employii team at [email protected]
To access the full article, click here.
Author: Chelsea Finlay (HR Officer).