Are 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 are an employer considering installing GPS vehicle tracking devices in your company’s fleet, contact our Employment Law Team to assist with the communication process.