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Employee Personal Information and Records Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The purpose of these guidelines is to provide employees with information about how their personal records and associated information are managed by Western Sydney University, and to assist employees in understanding their rights and responsibilities.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Alesco - the University's human resource management system;
  2. Callista - the University's student record management system;
  3. eRecruit - the University's recruitment information management system;
  4. MyCareerOnline - the University's career development and information management system;
  5. TRIM - the University's records and information management system;
  6. Sharepoint - the University's collaborative document sharing web space;
  7. StaffOnline - the University's staff access portal to Alesco.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The policy references for these guidelines are the Privacy Policy, the Privacy Management Plan and the Records and Archives Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(4) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Part A - Employee Records

(5) The University maintains information in a range of formats about current and former employees as well as prospective employees by way of employment applications. The purpose of this information is to manage the employment relationship between the University and the individual.

(6) Employee records are the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources and are maintained in accordance with the State Records Act, 1998, the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, 1998, and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act, 2002. The Office of Human Resources repositories of electronic and hard-copy employee records are:

  1. an employee's personal TRIM file containing all formal documents related to his/her employment; and
  2. the Human Resources Management Information System (HRIS), Alesco.

(7) Some employee information may also be held for specific purposes by local units (e.g. time-sheets).

(8) An employee's personal TRIM file will typically hold the following kinds of records:

  1. CV
  2. letter of offer and job application details
  3. emergency contact information
  4. qualifications
  5. general correspondence regarding changes to employment terms or personal details
  6. medical certificates
  7. applications and appeals for academic promotions
  8. details of higher duties or secondment arrangements.

(9) It is important that this information is kept up to date and employees are obliged to inform the Office of Human Resources when their circumstances change.

Part B - Information in Corporate Systems

(10) Some employee information will be kept within corporate systems such as Callista, MyCareerOnline (which draws employee information from the HRIS), Finance Office applications, and the Library to allow staff access to those systems. Additionally, current employees who apply for positions at the University will have some employee information held on eRecruit.

(11) Electronic personal or confidential information about staff should only be held in TRIM or formal University systems such as StaffOnline. Such information should not be held in collaborative areas such as share drives, Sharepoint and the like.

Part C - Privacy

(12) All personal information held by the University is subject to the privacy legislation mentioned above. Typically the personal information held by the University would include:

  1. personal information - e.g. home address, telephone numbers, email addresses, next of kin contact details.
  2. reference numbers - e.g. bank account details, Tax File Numbers, passport details.
  3. health information - e.g. medical certificates.

(13) Under privacy legislation the University is able to manage and use this information for legitimate business purposes. However, in doing that the University imposes confidentiality restrictions on the information which limits access only to those who have a formal business need to access it.

(14) Some information about an individual may not be covered by the privacy legislation, an example being information about a person's suitability for employment with the University (e.g. a selection panel report, job application). Such information is deemed to be confidential by the University and so restricted from access however it may be sought and released under right to information legislation (Government Information [Public Access] Act 2009 [GIPA]).

Part D - Retention

(15) Records held by the Office of Human Resources are retained as required by the General Disposal Authorities (GDA). The length that records are retained varies depending on the type of record.

Part E - Access to My Records

(16) Staff in the Office of Human Resources will have access to an employee's records in the course of their official duties.

Access by Me

(17) An employee can view their personnel file in the presence of Office of Human Resources staff and can make copies but he/she may not remove copies of any document on their personal TRIM file. An employee may seek to amend personal and other information on their file but in the case of a disagreement between the University and the employee about the information, the employee is entitled to put a statement on his/her file in lieu of amending the record.

Access by My Current Manager

(18) With the approval of the relevant Senior HR Partner, a manager may in the presence of the Senior HR Partner view a particular document on an employee's personnel file.

Part F - Grievance, Disciplinary or Other Sensitive Information

(19) These records are held in a separate Office of Human Resources TRIM file and not on an employee's personal TRIM file.

Part G - Release of Information to Third Parties

(20) The Office of Human Resources releases information about employees to third parties where the employee has requested this in writing.

(21) The Office of Human Resources verifies information about employees that they (i.e. the employees) have provided to external organisations, such as financial institutions, but does not provide any additional information.

(22) Approaches to the University for information about an employee or about contact with an employee are directed by the Office of Human Resources to the employee concerned to determine how and if they will respond.

(23) Information is released to Government agencies, such as Centrelink, where there is a legal requirement on the University to do so. This also applies to situations such as subpoenas and warrants.

Part H - Contact with Staff Outside Work

(24) It is incumbent on the employee to advise the University, usually the person's supervisor, when he or she is absent from work on an unplanned basis (e.g. sick leave) as soon as it is practicable to do so. If no advice is received from the employee within a reasonable period the supervisor may obtain personal contact details from the Office of Human Resources to make contact with the employee. It is not appropriate for any other staff to do this unless the absent employee has provided their personal contact details to the person concerned.

(25) Where an employee, by the nature of their duties needs to be available for contact out of 'office hours', they will normally be provided with a University mobile phone for that purpose. As a general rule contact with staff out of hours should be confined to situations of necessity that cannot wait until the next business day or where the employee has indicated that they are happy to be contacted if needed.

(26) There is no requirement that staff should be available for contact during periods of approved leave and this should be avoided whenever possible to enable the employee to benefit from the leave taken. The only exceptions to this would be in cases of emergency or where the staff member has volunteered in advance to be contacted for particular reasons.