GPS Tracking in work vehicles: Make sure it's legal!

Written on the 12 May 2015 by Gavin Hanrahan

GPS Tracking Devices in Work VehclesAre you thinking about using GPS tracking devices?

GPS vehicle tracking is becoming more common in the work place. Over the last few years the costs involved with installing GPS tracking devices in work vehicles has decreased, allowing small to medium business owners to begin tracking their fleet.

However, while using GPS software to track the movements of employees may sound like a good idea, it is not without risk to the business owner.

In NSW, if the surveillance of work vehicles is not compliant with the Workplace Surveillance Act ("the Act"), it is deemed to be 'covert surveillance' and illegal unless authorised by a Magistrate...and any evidence that may have been obtained using covert surveillance will not be able to be used in any subsequent proceedings (eg. to defend an unfair dismissal claim).

To be compliant with the Act, surveillance via GPS tracking must not commence without prior notice (in writing) to each of the affected employees. The notice must be given at least 14 days before the surveillance commences (unless an employee agrees to a lesser period of notice), or before an affected employee commences employment with you. Submitting the notice via email is considered a valid form of communication.

The notice must indicate:

  • (a)  the kind of surveillance to be carried out (GPS for tracking purposes), and
  • (b)  how the surveillance will be carried out (via the installation of a GPS tracking device), and
  • (c)  when the surveillance will start, and
  • (d)  whether the surveillance will be continuous or intermittent, and
  • (e)  whether the surveillance will be for a specified limited period or ongoing.

Furthermore, there must be a notice, clearly visible on the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle is currently the subject of GPS surveillance.

There are GPS software tracking packages that turn off the monitoring of devices outside of work hours.

If you have any more questions about GPS tracking devices at work or you would like to talk to us about another employment law matter, please call our team on 1800 994 279 or email us. A member of our Workplace Relations & Employment Law Team will endeavour to respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

- Gavin Hanrahan
   Managing Partner

Gavin Hanrahan - Employment Lawyer GPS Tracking


Author: Gavin Hanrahan
About: Gavin Hanrahan is the Managing Partner of Turnbull Hill Lawyers and the Partner-in-Charge of our Business, Commercial & Workplace Team. He advises clients on a broad range of business, workplace and HR issues, ranging from employment contracts to risk management. As one of the leading business lawyers in NSW, Gavin speaks to local business owners every day and understands both the needs and difficulties of launching, managing and growing a business. Our clients appreciate his practical, personal and solutions-orientated approach and his ability to respond to legal issues that are currently impacting businesses all over NSW.
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