Understanding privacy leads to more productive workplaces and better workplace relationships.
Failure to comply with privacy and human rights laws can have adverse legal and public relations consequences for employers. Breaches of the law, if widely published in the media, may cause significant brand damage and result in a rapid loss of business.
It is the responsibility of employers to set business policies that do not have a discriminatory effect and to ensure that employees have access to the policies. The human rights principles contained in the law need to be tailored to individual businesses to inform their policies and procedures.
Human Rights and Privacy Law Made Easy, with consultant editor Frances Joychild QC, gives you straightforward and practical guidance. It covers everything from discrimination and sexual and racial harassment to victimisation, information sharing and the right to privacy. Key human rights and privacy legislation is summarised, highlighting the rights and obligations of both employers and employees.
Available on subscription, the guide provides:
A New Zealand jewellery chain received negative publicity when a manager turned a Muslim woman away from a job interview because of her hijab.
Discrimination against a person on the basis of their religious clothing is not allowed, unless there is a "good reason for it" such as significant health and safety concerns.
Employers are not entitled to reject an employment application or deny an employee promotion on the basis of:
With Dacreed's online compliance training you can train managers and staff on their human rights and privacy obligations to help protect you and your business from prosecution. Once completed, the training also enables you to demonstrate a lower risk profile to insurers. This results in lower premiums – saving you and your business money.
Under the Privacy Act, individuals have a right to access their personal information. When an “agency” receives such a request, the Human Rights Review Tribunal has said that the agency, where possible, must provide the information in a way that is meaningful and understandable to the requester. This means that any 'keys' or other information needed to decode information like test scores must be provided.
Companies should be aware of the scope of their right to withhold "evaluative information" under the Privacy Act. Applications for disclosure of information that was obtained in confidence, such as referee opinions provided for unsuccessful job applicants, can be withheld. However, data that does not identify referees or give details of what the referees said, such as test scores, cannot be withheld.
Organisations that do business with European Union (EU) residents or entities, or have a presence in the EU, now need to comply with strict rules around protecting personal data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation under EU law. It expands the rights of individuals to control how their personal data is collected, stored and processed, and places a range of new obligations on organisations to be more accountable for data protection.
New Zealand organisations that do business with or have a presence in the EU need to ensure their systems and policies pertaining to the processing of personal information comply with the GDPR, as well as New Zealand privacy law. Breaches of the GDPR can result in stiff penalties as well as reputational damage.