Read on to find the answers to common questions about how the department handles personal information.
On this page:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is personal information?
Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. Personal Information includes name, contact details and information about education or employment history.
What is sensitive information?
Sensitive information is a subset of personal information and includes information or an opinion about an individual’s:
- racial or ethnic origin
- political opinions,
- religious beliefs or affiliations
- philosophical beliefs
- sexual orientation
- criminal record
- health information
- genetic information.
Where do I find information about how the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations handles my personal information?
Can I ask the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to destroy the personal information it holds about me?
There is no right under the Privacy Act to request destruction of your personal information.
Further, the department has specific retention obligations for personal information included in a Commonwealth record.
Generally, all information that the department creates, sends or receives is a Commonwealth record. The retention of Commonwealth records is regulated by the Archives Act 1983, which sets out when they may be altered or destroyed.
This means that generally the department cannot lawfully destroy personal information it holds about you.
How do I request access to my personal information that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations holds?
You have a right under the Privacy Act to request access to personal information we hold about you. Only you or a person you authorise, such as a legal guardian or an authorised agent, can request access to your personal information.
It is also possible to request access to documents held by us containing your personal information under the FOI Act. Information about how to make an FOI application is available on the Freedom of Information page of our website. You can also contact our FOI team at FOI@dewr.gov.au.
For further detail, including a comparison of both access mechanisms and how you can make a request, please see our Guide to Accessing and Correcting Personal Information.
How do I request a correction of my personal information that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations holds?
You have the right to request correction of the personal information that the department holds about you if you consider that it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.
Only you or a person you authorise, such as a legal guardian or authorised agent, can request correction of your personal information.
For further information about how you can request correction of your personal information, please see our Guide to Accessing and Correcting Personal Information.
How do I complain about a breach of my privacy?
The department is committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals’ personal information and endeavours at all times to ensure we, and our contracted service providers, fully comply with the obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) set out in the Privacy Act.
If you believe that the department or one of our contracted service providers has not dealt with your personal information in accordance with the APPs, you can make a privacy complaint to the department:
|Via email||Via pre-paid post||Via telephone|
Legal and Assurance Division
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
Location Code: C50MA1 - LEGAL
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601
|The department’s switchboard number is 1300 488 064.|
To ensure that the department fully understands the nature of your privacy complaint and the outcome you are seeking, it prefers that you make your privacy complaint in writing.
Please note that for the protection of everyone’s privacy, the department only accepts complaints made by the persons directly affected or an authorised representative. As such, if you wish to make a privacy complaint on someone’s behalf, please provide proof of authority to do so.
For further information about making a privacy complaint, please see our Privacy Complaints Handling Procedures.
Does the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations require consent to be able to handle my personal information?
It is only in certain situations that consent is required for the department to collect, use or disclose your personal information. Your consent may be needed for:
- collection of sensitive information
- collection of your personal information from a third party
- use or disclosure of your personal information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected
- disclosure of your personal information to an overseas recipient
What steps does the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations take to ensure that its contracted service providers appropriately handle personal information?
Under the Privacy Act, the department is required to take contractual measures to ensure that contracted service providers (including subcontractors) comply with the same privacy requirements applicable to us.
When the department enters into agreements with contracted service providers, it imposes contractual obligations that require them to comply with relevant privacy obligations when handling personal information as part of their involvement in the department’s programs.
What if I don’t want to provide my personal information?
It is generally your choice whether to provide your personal information to the department. However, to engage with departmental programs, you may be required to provide your personal information for purposes such as verifying your identity or assessing your eligibility.