GPS vehicle tracking is becoming more common in the work place.
Over the last few years the costs involved with installing GPS
tracking devices in work vehicles has decreased, allowing small to
medium business owners to begin tracking their fleet.
However, while using GPS software to track the movements of
employees may sound like a good idea, it is not without risk to the
In NSW, if the surveillance of work vehicles is not compliant
with the Workplace Surveillance Act ("the Act"),
it is deemed to be 'covert surveillance' and illegal unless
authorised by a Magistrate...and any evidence that may have been
obtained using covert surveillance will not be able to be used in
any subsequent proceedings (eg. to defend an unfair dismissal
To be compliant with the Workplace Surveillance Act,
surveillance via GPS tracking must not commence without prior
notice (in writing) to each of the affected employees. The notice
must be given at least 14 days before the surveillance commences
(unless an employee agrees to a lesser period of notice), or before
an affected employee commences employment with you. Submitting the
notice via email is considered a valid form of communication.
The notice must indicate:
the kind of surveillance to be carried out (GPS for tracking
how the surveillance will be carried out (via the installation
of a GPS tracking device), and
when the surveillance will start, and
whether the surveillance will be continuous or intermittent,
whether the surveillance will be for a specified limited period
Furthermore, there must be a notice, clearly visible on the
vehicle, indicating that the vehicle is currently the subject of
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Employers must be aware that GPS tracking devices may only be
used to monitor an employee's activities whilst they are
"at work". There are GPS software tracking packages that
turn off the monitoring of devices outside of work hours.
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