General Duty of Care
Staff of the NTWWC has a responsibility to ensure that principles of social justice (access, equity, participation and rights) underpin the practice of the provision of service to all clients (as per the Objects of the NTWWC). Specifically, staff will seek to ensure that women from the Northern Territory, regardless of disability, age, culture, religion or geographic location are informed about, and have access to its services.
NTWWC staff shall respect the right of individuals to self determination. This principal provides for clients to be the decision maker in relation to their own situation, with the benefit of information from the NTWWC.
The NTWWC is proud to offer a confidential service to all clients.
The kind and purpose of information collected and held
When client contact the NTWWC for anything other than a quick query (a straight forward request for information or referral requiring less than 5 minutes) the NTWWC will collect name, residential address, telephone number, email address, referral source, age category, employment status, union membership status, occupational category, industry category, cultural/linguistic background or heritage, whether the client has a disability, works in the private, community or public sector and what the issue/s for which assistance is sought. Where the information can not be obtained, it will be recorded as unknown.
Statistical information without client identification details is collated and statistical reports are provided as required by the funding body.
If a client requires specialised assistance or advice, some case notes of the circumstances, instructions given by the client and the advice that has been given is recorded. The NTWWC collects this information in order to respond to subsequent client requests for assistance and to ensure a high quality of service in complex industrial relations matters. Information that is not relevant or necessary to the provision of high quality support and advice will not be recorded.
The NTWWC may also keep copies of documents or correspondence provided to us in relation to a client's problem or need for assistance, for example unfair dismissal or discrimination complaint forms. When a client provides us with this information, we use it only in order to support, advise, represent and assist and to track progress as issues are resolved.
How personal information is collected and held
Personal information about clients is requested directly from clients using designated intake procedures. Clients will usually provide sufficient identifying information to allow the NTWWC to comply with its professional obligations, including minimising conflicts of interest.
When clients indicate that they do not wish to provide any identifying information, NTWWC will provide assistance to the extent that they are able without identifying information.
When collecting personal information reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that the person is aware of; who is collecting the information, why it is being collected and that the information will remain confidential. Where possible, all personal information will be collected directly from an individual.
If information about an individual has been collected from someone else, reasonable steps will be taken, where practicable, to inform the individual of the above.
Sharing client information
The NTWWC will not disclose, trade, sell or share clients' personal information within Australia or internationally. Where contact with or referral to another organisation is required, the NTWWC will not disclose identifying details to anyone without a client's consent.
Where a client consents, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that clients' personal information is disclosed only for the purposes for which it was provided by our client.
This policy is overridden by staff obligations to mandatorily report and/or seek specialist assistance where: a client is at risk of harming themselves or another person, a child is deemed to be at risk of child abuse, or a client is at risk of serious harm due to domestic or family violence.
In this instance personal information shall only be disclosed to a third party to the extent that is necessary to ensure that relevant people are safe. Personal information may be given to police, the Department of Families or the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team. Staff should refer to the staff handbook for specific instructions on the above situations.
Access to information
If the NTWWC holds clients' personal information then the client may request to access or change the information. Once a request is made, NTWWC will provide a response and organsie to give the client access to or change personal information.
When a client makes a request to access personal information the client can request the format in which they would prefer to receive the information. However, access to some types of information may require the client to receive the information in person in the presence of a NTWWC staff member. The Director must view the file and approve any copies of material to be given to the client prior to allowing the client access or copies.
In some circumstances, the NTWWC may deny client access to information. Reasons clients may be denied access include, that the information would be harmful to the client or others or it would be unlawful to provide the information.
Similarly, not all requests to change information will be granted. The NTWWC will only agree to change personal information that is inaccurate, out of date, irrelevant or misleading.
Requests to access or change clients' personal information can be made by contacting the NTWWC. A response will be provided as soon as possible.
Clients who feel that the Australian or NT Privacy Principles have been breached by the NTWWC may make a complaint to the Director or Chair.