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One for our legal eagles :-) [NSW]

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by VTRBob, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Subject : Workplace surveillance / snooper-vision,

    Where I work through snippets in emails/phone calls we are getting from head office in QLD, it is looking more and more like the so called security cams, are in fact being used to follow us around during work hrs.

    We have not signed anything or given permission for this action, nor do we like the "big brother is watching" atmosphere that comes with this.

    So my question is what are our rights re permission and privacy etc ?
  2. I'm no legal guy (yet) but as far as I know surveillance cameras can only be used (legally) to go back and view an incident/believed incident. It can't be used to just randomly spy on workers AFAIK.

    The legal heads will come on soon and let you know whether Im full of it or not :)
  3.  Top
  4. Am not a legal eagle, but as a recently retired managing director of a company, I understand, it is against Commonwealth law to undertake any surveillance of your employees, unless there is an agreement, in place, to do so.
  5. What jurisdiction Bob? NSW office? Or surveillance in the QLD office?
  6. Dunno anything bout the legal ramifications, nor do I offer any useful advice :angel: ....

    I work at Crown = 100's (if not 1000's) of cameras, I'm being watched all the time.
  7. There are cameras present, but their intended purpose is not to watch employees.
  8. NSW Office, been watched and monitored from head office in QLD
    We where told all the cameras where for "after hrs security only"

    Ie : Phone calls asking, why is "X" not at his/her desk
    " " " , why is "X" doing that particular job, when it's not their responsibility to empty the bins for example !!
    etc etc

    Little bit of info, NSW is a small branch of 3 people , a receptionist , salesman and a service/warranty adviser. So we work as a team and cover each others dutys when reqd.
  9. I suspect not much, after reading the Act.

    I looked for a NSW Ombudsman, but could only find the federal Fair Work Ombudsman. I suspect it will be "good enough" to contact them; and if not they will at the very least direct you to a body in NSW that can help you if they can't.
  10. There's probably a relevant union who'd be pissed off about that sort of stuff happening, but the Ombudsman would be the place to start with.

    Being spied on is not good for 'moral', since they're basically saying "We don't trust you at all, you lazy bastards". Results include: higher staff turnover, probably lower 'productivity', and people taking more days off. They're displaying short sightedness and general stupidity by doing what they're doing.

    And if all else fails, you can always go on strike. Three people should be easy to organise, and having their (only?) NSW office shut down for a day or two would certainly get the message across.
  11. Since Bob says they have not provided written notification then this part of the act is important.

    10 Notice of surveillance required

    (1) Surveillance of an employee must not commence without prior notice in writing to the employee.

    So the company is putting themselves at legal risk.

    Depending on how much you wanted to rock the boat Bob you could email, (it needs to be in writing) your immediate superior something along the lines of.

  12. cut the lines and stick a switch in, and only turn them on after hours. :p
  13. but seriously, if you poke your head out, how easy will it be for them to remove you from your job, and is it worth that risk? If so...
  14. 2 steps

    Active protection:
    Keep a diary of incidents where cameras were used for surveillance of employees and not security.
    Ask the person on the other end of the phone "How do you know so-and-so is not at their desk?" just to get the admission that they used the cameras.
    Have each incident confirmed (checked and initialled) by another staff member who is present.

    Passive resistance:
    'Accidentally' cover cameras, bump them so they can't see what they normally look at.
    Learn the blind spots and work in them, or move work stations into them.
    'Accidentally' damage cameras (without being seen, obviously).
  15. take a picture of empty office, and stick it up in front of camera... Watch them try and work out where everyone has gone...
  16. LOL!!!! love it :D
  17. #17 goz, Sep 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015

    ahhh yes
  18. Great idea! :applause:

    Or use one with everyone working hard, and they will try and figure out why everyone is working through their lunch break.
  19. So when a fork lift or roller lift or something has rolled back onto the worker and pinned him or knocked him unconcious, the camera shows no one is really there....clever thinking.
    The supervisors/managers do use cameras or location systems for OH&S issues, not really interested in spying on their employees. You'll get the sack via normal methods if you don't do your job in any case.
  20. I worked for an Electrical company in Cairns (Based in Brisbane) we had to sign a document when we were employed stating that the Cameras were used to Monitor both Customers and Staff. And if you didn't like it, you didn't get the job. We used to get regular calls from Head office and Area Managers asking questions and making comments about the day to day goings on in the Department I worked in.