Changes to the privacy legislation: what it means for hirers

Recent significant changes were made to Australian privacy laws, which replaced the National Privacy Principles with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The changes came into effect from March 2014.

The Privacy Law Reform

Following these changes, a common question we’ve received from hirers has been ‘are candidates required to view and accept our privacy policy before applying?’ In general, our view is that they are not required. However, as a job-seeker’s application is likely to include personal information, in order for you to comply with the new privacy reforms, you must make certain notifications to job-seekers at the time of their application, or as soon as practicable after receipt of the application.

How can you comply?

In order to comply with the APPs, at the time of collection of personal information from a job-seeker, or as soon as practicable after, you must notify an applicant of receipt of their personal information and must make them aware that any personal information collected by you about them will be used, stored and disclosed in accordance with your privacy policy. Some ways for you to do this include:

  • Within your ads, include a statement to that effect, which could be placed at the bottom of your ad.
  • Upon receipt of an application, ensure an email response is sent to the applicants informing them that the application has been received, and that all personal information received will be stored, used and disclosed by you in line with your privacy policy. Remember to include a link to your privacy policy too.

We have prepared an example statement you could include in your ads or automated messages:

“All personal information received by us from you or about you will be stored, used and disclosed by us in accordance with our privacy policy, a copy of which can be found at [insert the URL that points to your privacy statement]. If you have any questions in relation to how we may use and store your personal information please contact us at [insert contact].”

It is also important that you review your privacy and data policies to ensure they are compliant with the APPs, given the recent reforms.

Guidelines from OAIC

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) provides a range of resources to help understand and comply with the Privacy Act.

Please note that this article is intended to be for general information purposes only and is not, nor should be, relied upon as legal advice. It is essential that you seek independent legal advice for your own particular situation and to ensure that your privacy policies comply with the new privacy laws.

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SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in Australia, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK’s mission is to help people live...

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