Spying on workers

Transport company, the Toll Group has made headlines for spying on injured workers who have been on sick leave. A private investigator followed Rosa Diehm in February this year while she was on leave for a back injury sustained at work. The investigator used a concealed camera to film Ms Diehm shopping at a supermarket. When her bosses later quizzed her on her movements for that day, she didn’t mention the supermarket trip. She was fired three days later.

The case will be put to Fair Work Australia today, with Diehm claiming unfair dismissal. Using this form of surveillance to spy on injured workers is legal and not uncommon. Employment law expert Andrew Stewart said “there’s nothing unlawful about it, so long as the investigators don’t engage in trespass, secretly tape conversations [or] tap phones”.

Opinion – All’s fair in love and work

The Toll Group will likely receive public ire for firing Rosa Diehm and will face the music from Fair Work Australia today. While it is unknown how the case will be ruled and I don’t know all the details of the situation, I don’t think Toll should be condemned for hiring a private investigator to keep an eye on injured workers. Yes it may seem a little under-handed, and I can understand Ms Diehm’s concern, but ultimately if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about. By all reports the surveillance that they conducted was legal.

Companies invest a lot of money into their staff and if they need to take extended leave, I think it’s fair that they know it’s for a legitimate cause. Admittedly, an unreported trip to the supermarket is hardly the most physically taxing activity, but you’d have to assume that Toll had sufficient suspicions to justify the cost and effort of hiring a private investigator. It’s likely that there’s more to this case than what we’ve read today.

Do you agree? Or have Toll gone too far with this? Have you ever been spied on by your employer?

Read the full story at TheAge.com.au.

Written by gedmc