The Workplace Surveillance Act of 2005 forbids surveillance of employees by employer at work, except when prior notice is given to employees or when the employer possesses surveillance authority. The surveillance authorities are only issued by Magistrate for the objective of determining whether an employee was part of an illegal activity at work or not. The latest Act regulates computer, camera and other tracking devices that use global positioning system.
The Workplace Surveillance Act of 2005 regulates following key features-
Overt Surveillance: Overt surveillance can take place, if an employer gives prior notice of at least 14 days. This time period is applicable for current employees and new staff must get notice before they commence their work. The notice must contain details such as method of surveillance and place where surveillance will be carried out. The notice must explain whether the surveillance is continuous or it is applicable for specific period of time. The surveillance necessitates that the cameras are visible in the place of activity. The signs informing people about the surveillance should be visible at every location where surveillance will be conducted.
Covert Surveillance:Covert surveillance is completely illegal unless the employer receives authority of doing covert surveillance. A magistrate cannot provide authority of covert surveillance to employer unless valid reasons exist to justify the activity. The covert surveillance application includes important information such as employers involved in activity and period of surveillance. The surveillance right remains applicable for 30 days and records which are not necessary for evident purpose should be removed within 90 days. When a magistrate grants authority for covert surveillance, he assigns a surveillance supervisor to observe the operation and take custody of materials used in surveillance. The supervisor discharges only that portion of surveillance record to employer which was relevant in proving the employee’s involvement in illegal activity at work.
According to the Workplace Surveillance Act of 2005, employers must realize that there is prohibition against employee surveillance in washrooms, toilets and change rooms. The law also prohibits employee surveillance when they are not at workplace. The law never restricts employers from doing internet or email surveillance but it makes sure that employees are getting prior notice before conducting such activity. Employers of New South Wales must ensure that they meet the basic terms and conditions covered under the law.