VIC Workplace Investigation

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9 December 2018
I am a volunteer, in a government authority, allegations were made against me that were referred to an external private company to investigate. This company were given details of the allegations against me as well as my personal contact details. The government authority had made no attempt to resolve the issues themselves with me ( I may well have admitted them or provided a valid reason or had evidence to refute them, or may well have just decided to resign) . The authority did not seek my permission to refer the allegations to an external HR company. The issues themselves were unbelievably trivial..waving arms and speaking over someone in a meeting. To make matters worse the authority concerned decided to cancel the original investigator ( advising them they were no longer required because it was being dealt with in house) and then employing a second company to investigate it the following week. . As a professional with a reputation to protect I now have 2 HR firms having my personal details and reports of untested allegations against me. Has my privacy been breached? Do I have any legal recourse?


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
Has my privacy been breached? Do I have any legal recourse?
No. Because the information you mention likely doesn't fit the definitions contained in the privacy act, and secondly the act does not give you any legal recourse.

The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner can investigate complaints, it can make recommendations, it can produce reports, it can give guidance to the relevant agency. And that's about it when it comes to privacy.

The ONLY right you have is the right to make a complaint. There is no cause of action for breaches of the privacy act. No compensation, no injunctions, no courts orders, no nothing.

I really can't see any point in complaining because Victoria's privacy act is toothless.

Australian and Victorian privacy laws are a sop to placate the public. Both Governments can put their hand up and say, yes, we have laws to protect your right to privacy, but except for a few limited areas such as health and credit reporting, there has been no serious attempt to give us rights that are enforceable in a court of law.