10/5/2005

Australia: Call For Ban On Worker Surveillance

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 12:04 pm

The final report of the Law Reform Commission has called for a new regulator to oversee the covert and overt monitoring of employees in the workplace.

The report, released today, called for new laws which would require employers to seek the permission from the regulator to test workers for drugs and alcohol and to install intrusive surveillance devices.

The report also called for the regulator to issue mandatory codes of conduct to cover video surveillance and monitoring of worker’s emails.

The chairman of the commission, Marcia Neave, said an outright ban on surveillance in toilets, change rooms, showers and bathrooms was also needed to protect the basic dignity of working people - even if employees agreed to such a move.

Ms Neave said a complaints system would be set up under the commission plan to allow workers and employers to resolve disputes about workplace privacy issues which would be conciliated by the regulator.

“Victoria currently has a patchwork of legislation covering privacy in the workplace and some practices are completely unregulated - for example, under the present law, workers can be asked to agree to being filmed in toilets and washrooms. We are recommending the introduction of an act which deals specifically with practices such as video surveillance, email monitoring and medical testing.” she said

Victoria’s Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, said employees were entitled to go to work without “big brother” watching their every move.

Related article: 63% Of Corporations Plan To Read Outbound Email

Source: The Age

 

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