The Privacy Commissioner recently released guidance on right to workplace bullying information by a complainant


The Privacy Commissioner has recently released guidance on a complainant's right to information in workplace bullying matters. Individuals are entitled to access information about them held by agencies under Principle 6 of the Privacy Act, including evidence and findings compiled from a workplace bullying investigation. Employers can refuse such requests under section 29(1)(a) if they believe the disclosure of such information would be an "unwarranted disclosure of another person's affairs given the circumstances." The Commissioner noted that concerns about employees publishing the information given, "either on social media or through a media organisation" is not a legitimate reason for refusal. If employers are worried about such issues, the Commissioner noted that they may be entitled to offer a "limited viewing" of the information instead or to release the investigation report with conditions. The Commissioner concluded that "from a natural justice perspective" a complainant of workplace bullying is "entitled to see the results of the workplace investigation...including statements their managers, co-workers or alleged bullies have made about them."

Despite this, the Commissioner did recognise that there are limited circumstances where an employer can justifiably withhold information relating to "internal bullying investigations." Such cases would have to rely on...

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