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The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, its employees, contractors and agents (collectively, ‘the department’) is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) and to the requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act.
We also adhere to applicable guidelines issued to agencies by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
- the types of personal information that we collect, hold, use and disclose
- our personal information handling practices
- our authority to collect your personal information, why it may be held by us, how it is used and how it is protected
- whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients and if possible, to whom and
- how you can access your personal information, correct it if necessary and complain if you believe it has been wrongly collected or inappropriately handled.
- an apprentice
- an employer
- a worker
- a parent or guardian
- a registered training organisation
- a job seeker
- an employment services provider
- a participant in a program or service delivered by us
- a contractor, grant recipient, consultant, or supplier of goods or services to us
- an applicant for a grant or a tenderer for a contract provided by us
- a policy stakeholder who works with us
- a person whose information may be given to us by a third party, including other Australian Government agencies
- an entrant in a competition conducted by us
- a person seeking employment with us
- a current or past employee of the department or
- any other individual whose personal information we may collect, hold, use and disclose.
Information we collect and why we hold, use and disclose it
We enable access to quality skills, training and employment to support Australians find secure work in fair, productive and safe workplaces – supporting individuals, businesses and our nation to prosper. The department’s strategic priorities include:
- Foster a productive and competitive labour market through policies and programs that assist job seekers into work, including secure work, and meet employer and industry needs
- Promote growth in economic productivity and social wellbeing through access to quality skills and training and
- Facilitate jobs growth, including secure work, through policies and programs that promote fair, productive, and safe workplaces.
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a variety of purposes, including:
- performing our legislative and administrative functions
- policy development, research and evaluation
- data sharing or data integration with other Australian Government agencies, including but not limited to, data sharing or data integration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project and the Data Integration Partnership for Australia
- assessing eligibility for Commonwealth financial assistance in relation to VET students and the Fair Entitlements Guarantee
- complaints handling
- administering requests received by us under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) and the Privacy Act
- preventing, detecting, investigating or dealing with misconduct and fraud, cyber-attacks against the Commonwealth, or other unlawful activity relating to the Commonwealth
- program management
- maintaining effective working relationships with state and territory governments, non-government VET authorities and providers, and other relevant stakeholders
- policy advice and other support to our Ministers
- contract management, and
- management of correspondence with the public.
We only collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a lawful purpose that is reasonably necessary or directly related to one or more of our functions or activities or where otherwise required or authorised by law.
We use and disclose personal information for the primary purposes for which it is collected. We will only use your personal information for secondary purposes where we are able to do so in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Tax file numbers
The following information is provided to comply with the department's obligation under subrule 14(1) of the Privacy (Tax File Number) Rule 2015 (TFN Rule).
Purpose of collection
A tax file number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Commissioner of Taxation. The department may collect TFNs for the following purposes:
- to administer the programs we manage, including but not limited to the Self-Employment Assistance Program, Trade Support Loans and VET Student Loans
- to make payments of salaries and wages to eligible employees and contractors.
The department’s collection of TFNs is authorised under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953. You are not legally obliged to quote your TFN, but there may be financial consequences where you choose not to do so.
Prohibitions and penalties
There are inherent risks associated with the transmission of information over the internet, including via email. You should be aware of this when sending personal information to us via email or via our website or social media platforms. If this is of concern to you then you may use other methods of communication with us, such as post, fax or telephone (although these also have risks associated with them).
Your information - including personal information - is collected by a variety of software applications, services and platforms used by your device and by the department to support it to deliver services.
This type of information collection is ‘passive’ as the department is not collecting this information directly and it does not directly relate to the department’s provision of services. Your consent for your information to be collected and shared in this way is typically obtained at the time you first use an application or service on your device.
You can opt out of some of these passive data collections, including by:
- disabling / refusing cookies
- opting-out of Google Analytics
- disabling location services on your device.
Additional advice regarding how to protect yourself online can be found at Stay Smart Online.
The department directly collects some of your information - including personal information - via its website. Generally, this information is collected to enable the department to properly and efficiently carry out its functions and deliver services to you.
No attempt is made to identify you through your browsing other than in exceptional circumstances, such as an investigation into the improper use of the website.
Information may be collected by:
Type of information:
Information collected to:
Social media platforms
Your browser type
Your browser language
Your server address
Your location (where location services are enabled on your device)
Your top level domain name (e.g. ‘.com’, ‘.gov’, ‘.au’, ‘.uk’)
Date and time you accessed a page on our site
Pages accessed and documents viewed on our site
How our website was accessed (e.g. from a search engine, link or advertisement)
Measure the effectiveness of our content
Better tailor our content to our audience
Deliver services to you
Subscribe you to a service or update you have requested
Evaluate our programs
Inform policy development
Links to external websites and social networking services
We also use social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Yammer to talk with the public and our staff. When you talk with us using these services we may collect your personal information to communicate with you and the public.
The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes. These services have their own privacy policies. You can access the privacy policies for these services on their websites.
Disclosure of personal information overseas
We will on occasion disclose personal information to overseas recipients. The situations in which we may disclose personal information overseas include:
- the publication on the internet of material which may contain personal information, such as departmental reports and other documents; photographs, video recordings and audio recordings and posts and comments on our social media platforms
- the provision of personal information to overseas researchers or consultants (where consent has been given for this or we are otherwise legally able to provide this information)
- the provision of personal information to foreign governments and law enforcement agencies (in limited circumstances and where authorised by law)
- where recipients of departmental communications use an email account that stores data on an overseas server and
- where people post and comment on our social media platforms.
Information collected by our contractors
Under the Privacy Act we are required to take contractual measures to ensure that contracted service providers (including subcontractors) comply with the same privacy requirements applicable to us.
Storage and data security
Storage of personal information (and the disposal of information when no longer required) is managed in accordance with the Australian Government's records management regime.
We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information held in our possession against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or misuse.
We take all reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information we collect and store is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading.
Access to and alteration of records containing personal information
You have a right under the Privacy Act to access personal information we hold about you.
You also have a right under the Privacy Act to request corrections of any personal information that we hold about you if you think the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.
It is also possible to access and correct documents held by us under the FOI Act. Further 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.
Privacy Impact Assessments
A privacy impact assessment (PIA) is a systematic assessment of a project that identifies the impact that the project might have on the privacy of individuals, and sets out recommendations for managing, minimising or eliminating that impact.
The Privacy (Australian Government Agencies - Governance) APP Code 2017 (Privacy Code) requires us to undertake a PIA in certain instances and to maintain a register of those PIAs from 1 July 2018. In accordance with the Privacy Code, we publish our PIA Register (see below).
Privacy Impact Assessment Register
The department’s PIA register has been prepared in accordance with section 15(1) of the Privacy Code.
Last updated: 5 August 2022
PIAs completed by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations since its establishment on 1 July 2022
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Higher Education Department Customer Relationship Manager
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If you think we may have breached your privacy you may contact us to make a complaint using the contact details below. In order to ensure that we fully understand the nature of your complaint and the outcome you are seeking, we prefer that you make your complaint in writing.
For further information about our complaint handling processes please see our Privacy Complaint Handling Procedures.
If you have any enquiries or complaints about privacy, or if you wish to access or correct your personal information, please email us at email@example.com or write to:
Legal and Assurance Division
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601
Last updated: July 2022