About this policy
This policy outlines how the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) handles your personal information. The personal information collected is outlined in Part 2 of this document, and includes:
- organisations who have an obligation under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act) to provide data, and
- employees, prospective employees and those contracted to the WGEA, including suppliers and those tendering to supply goods and services, and
- other stakeholders, including industry associations, not-for-profit organisations, partners, newsletter subscribers and media contacts.
This policy is intended to provide an overview of how we handle your personal information in compliance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and in particular the provisions of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained within that Act. ‘Personal information’ means information (or an opinion) in any form, whether true or not, about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.
The APPs regulate how we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information and how you access and correct the personal information that we hold about you. The APPs only apply to information about individuals, not information about corporate entities.
This policy will be updated when our information handling practices change, and updates will be publicised on WGEA’s website.
- WGEA only collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information for a lawful purpose that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of its functions under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act) in pursuance of the objects of the Act.
- The objects of the Act are:
- to promote and improve gender equality (including equal remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the workplace; and
- to support employers to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce, in recognition to employment matters; and
- to promote, amongst employers, the elimination of discrimination on the basis of gender in relation to employment matters (including in relation to family and caring responsibilities); and
- to foster workplace consultation between employers and employees on issues concerning gender equality in employment and in the workplace; and
- to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian business through the advancement of gender equality in employment and in the workplace.
- WGEA uses personal information for the purpose(s) for which it was given (unless otherwise required by or authorised by law). WGEA may also use personal information as consented by the individual or for related purposes where the individual would reasonably expect WGEA to use or disclose the information.
References and resources
- Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (WGE Act) ( https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016C00895 )
- Privacy Act 1988 (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00034 )
- Australian Privacy Principles (APP) (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00034 )
- Freedom of Information Act 1982 ( https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00016 )
- Archives Act 1983 (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A02796)
- Privacy (Australian Government Agencies — Governance) APP Code 2017 (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2017L01396 )
Collection of personal information
Collecting personal information
In performing our functions, we collect personal information using a variety of methods including:
- electronic forms
- in person and by telephone
- paper and electronic correspondence
- the WGEA website
- WGEA social media accounts
- Via the WGEA Employer Portal
The types of personal information we collect include the following:
- names, telephone numbers, email addresses, position and organisation contact details of the reporting contacts and Chief Executive Officers (or equivalent) of employers that are required by the Act to report to WGEA (relevant employers); and
- names, telephone numbers, email addresses, position and organisation contact details of stakeholders of WGEA, including contacts at industry associations, not-for-profit organisations, partners, newsletter subscribers and media contacts; and
- information about our employees and contractors in relation to personnel and payroll activities, recruitment and other matters such as work, health and safety; and
- information from prospective employees provided in their application for employment
- information about tenderers, consultants and other suppliers (or prospective suppliers) of goods and services to WGEA.
WGEA collects de-identified employee data from relevant employers that may include an employee’s, gender, occupational category, employment status, base and total remuneration.
Other than in the case of reporting contacts and Chief Executive Officers (or equivalent), information required to be provided to WGEA by relevant employers does not include details of employees’ names, addresses or other identifying features, WGEA cannot identify employees by using the personal identifiers provided by relevant employers
Collection of sensitive information
‘Sensitive information’ means personal information about you that is of a sensitive nature, including information such as the following:
- racial or ethnic origin
- membership of a professional association
- criminal record
- religious beliefs or affiliations
- health information about an individual.
If you or another person provides WGEA with sensitive information, WGEA will only retain the information if:
- you have consented to the collection of the information and it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to one of our functions or activities
- collection of the information is required or authorised by or under Australian law or court/tribunal order
- where a ‘permitted general situation’ exists (for example, a situation where using the information is necessary to prevent serious threats to life, health or safety of an individual), or
- collection of the information is authorised for other purposes permitted under the Privacy Act 1988.
Indirect collection of personal information
We may collect information about you indirectly from publicly available sources or from third parties such as:
- comments made by employees or employee organisations
- directories, websites and literature to enable us to contact stakeholders who may be interested in our work or in participating in our forums and consultations.
Collecting information through the WGEA website
- WGEA has a public website – www.wgea.gov.au. Our website collects information such as your first name, last name, position title, employer and email address when you choose to subscribe to our newsletter or when you register for WGEA’s webinars or events.
- When you use our online services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as your server address, your top level domain name (for example, .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc.), the date and time of the visit to the site, the pages accessed and documents viewed, the previous sites visited, the browser type, the browser language, and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.
- 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.
- A cookie is a small file that uniquely identifies your browser. It contains information that your web browser sends back to our website server whenever you visit it again.
Social networking services
- We use social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube to communicate with the public about our work.
- When you communicate with us using these services, we may collect your personal information, but we only use it to help us to communicate with you and the public.
- The social networking services will also handle your personal information. The Agency has no control or influence over third party privacy policies. Please refer to these specific social networking sites to review their privacy policies.
Disclosure and sharing of information
Sharing of information
We only disclose personal information to third parties (including other government departments) in the following circumstances:
- where you are reasonably likely to have been aware, or made aware, that your personal information is usually passed to the relevant parties
- where you have consented to the disclosure of your personal information
- where we believe on reasonable grounds that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your life or health or that of another person
- where the disclosure is required or authorised by or under law
- where the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue.
Remuneration data provided to WGEA by employers is confidential. Employer-specific remuneration data will only be disclosed publicly by WGEA if it is in aggregated form, if the employer providing the data requests in writing that WGEA disclose the data and if the data does not disclose, directly or indirectly, information about a specific person.
Any request by a third party to access remuneration data (other than at an aggregated level which does not identify an individual or employer) will be refused under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Disclosure of personal information overseas
It is unlikely that personal information will be disclosed to overseas recipients with the exception of information accessible via our website and social media sites. We would be unable to identify in which countries our website would be accessed.
Storage, security and access to personal information
Storage and security of personal information
- Most personal information submitted to WGEA online is directed through the WGEA secure portal. Access to the WGEA portal is secured using MyGovID identity verification services. For further information please refer to www.mygovid.gov.au
- Remuneration data is stored securely within WGEA’s IT systems.
- We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information that we hold from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by using a number of protective measures including password protection for accessing our IT systems, tracking access to our IT systems, locked filing cabinets for any paper documents and physical access restrictions to our offices.
- We take all reasonable steps to make sure personal information we collect and store is accurate, relevant, up-to-date, complete and not misleading. This is achieved by primarily having employers enter that information directly into the Agency’s database via a secure website portal. When information is provided by email, it is then copied and pasted into the relevant database records. For any information that is not received via these channels, for example, by telephone, the Agency has business processes in place to ensure that personal details are confirmed in writing by the employer.
- When no longer required, personal information is destroyed or deleted in a secure manner or transferred to the National Archives of Australia (NAA) in accordance with our obligations under the Archives Act 1983.
Accessing and correcting 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.
- To access or seek correction of personal information we hold about you, please contact us using the contact details set out below.
- If you request access to or correction of your personal information, we will respond to you within 30 calendar days.
- While the Privacy Act requires that we give you access to your personal information upon request or an opportunity to request the correction of your personal information, it does set out circumstances in which we may refuse to give you access or decline to correct your personal information.
- If we refuse to give you access or make corrections to your personal information, we will provide you with a written notice which, among other things, gives our reasons for refusing your request.
- It is also possible to access and correct documents held by us under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 ( https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00016 ).
- If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may make a complaint, either directly to us (see below), or you may wish to contact:
- If you think we have breached your privacy, you may contact us to make a complaint using the contact details set out in the ‘How to contact us’ section 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.
- Please be aware that it may be difficult to properly investigate or respond to your complaint if you provide insufficient detail. You may submit an anonymous complaint. However, if you do it may not be possible for us to provide a response to you.
- We are committed to quick and fair resolution of complaints and will ensure your complaint is taken seriously and investigated appropriately. Please be assured that you will not be victimised or suffer negative treatment if you make a complaint.
- If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled your complaint in the first instance, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to refer your complaint for further investigation. Please note that the Information Commissioner may not investigate if you have not first brought your complaint to our attention.
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001
Telephone: 1300 363 992
How to contact us
If you wish to
- query how your personal information is collected, held, used or disclosed by us
- request access to or seek correction of your personal information
- make a privacy complaint
please contact us via one of the methods below.
The Privacy Officer
GPO Box 4917
Sydney NSW 2001
(02) 9432 7000 or 1800 730 233
National Relay Service (NRS)
Publication and amendment details
WGEA - 2022 – OP08
Released for publication by (Signature)
Date of Publication
19 August 2022