Union fears laws would allow employers to snoop on workers
Unions are urgently calling for more detail on a proposed federal law, which would allow employers to snoop on their workers’ private internet and email usage.
Public hearings were held today on the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill, which could ask for employee security and background checks on around 2 million workers, in industries such as energy, health and public transport.
Michael Wright, Electrical Trades Union Assistant Secretary, told Perth LIVE’s Mark Gibson more detail is urgently needed.
“It’s going to need to take into account their confidentiality – so if they get done for drink driving, their boss doesn’t need to know that, if it’s not relevant to their job,” he said.
The ETU says the bill would put the onus onto the employers to put their workforce through the AusCheck system, which is an ASIO backgrounding tool.
“And then also doing what they’re calling digital footprint tracing – so going through people’s Facebook, social media, that sort of stuff, he said.
“It could wind up, with every check-out worker and store packer, needing to go through this same regime. I can’t tell you that it will, but I can’t tell you that it won’t – and the department’s not telling us either which is the real worry.”
The bill is before Federal Parliament, for public comment.
Press PLAY to hear the ETU’s concerns about the bill
(Photo: iStock by Getty Images)