Posts: Confidential Information

E-updates, blog articles, events, press articles and success stories about

Confidential Information

What is the difference between confidential information and “know-how”?

No way, know how

During the course of the employment relationship, employees will inevitably gain knowledge or be exposed to information about the employer’s business that is considered confidential to its operations and which the employer does not want to be put out into the public domain.


FWC upholds dismissal of an employee who repeatedly and deliberately accessed customer’s confidential information without authorisation

Celebrity search

During the course of their employment, employees may have access to confidential information which belongs to their employer. This information may be in the form of personal information provided by customers and is therefore sensitive in nature.


The importance of consultation in the redundancy process

Talk to Me

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides that a person will not be unfairly dismissed where the person was dismissed as a result of genuine redundancy.


Personal devices in the work context


With so much information at our finger tips, it is easy for the personal and the professional to be confused. This is particularly the case where employees can BYOD (bring your own device) and use their personal devices for work purposes.


The risks of providing unfavourable or false references

You say it best when you say nothing at all

There are range of important considerations for those delivering references to take into account and often conflicting interests can creep into the equation.


The 76ers Twitter saga and confidentiality in the employment relationship

Nothing but Net

Sports and pop culture website named ‘The Ringer’ published a report about the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers that sparked controversy worldwide.


Why the term ‘hush money’ is misleading

Hush Hush, Hush!

Settlement agreements, terms of settlement, deeds of release or release and undertakings are all terms which are used interchangeably to refer to the binding and confidential agreements.


Employee’s failed attempt at extortion resulted in justified dismissal

Show me the money

Baseless complaints or attempts at extortion are capable of amounting to serious misconduct, as exemplified in this case.


FWC recognises importance of confidentiality in employer investigations

Confidentiality in investigations

Employers will make every effort to maintain confidentiality when it comes to employees who give evidence as part of an investigation. However, should a matter eventually end up before the Fair Work Commission (or similar tribunal) there is no guarantee that the confidentiality will be upheld.


Terminated employees and confidential information


BlueScope Steel Limited was successful in its urgent Federal Court of Australia application to prohibit a former employee from using or destroying its confidential information, including intellectual property and software.


Investigation reports and legal privilege

For your eyes only

Employers often seek assistance or advice from their lawyers when a sufficiently serious workplace complaint (such as fraud, sexual harassment or bullying) is made. Lawyers may be asked to conduct an investigation into the allegations and prepare a “Confidential and Privileged” report for the employer, the findings of which may be used later in a disciplinary process.


Employee access and use of personal information

Private eyes (are watching you)

For some positions, client information is at our fingertips and often just a keystroke or mouse click away. This was the position that a NSW Police Constable was in when he used the NSW Police database system to look up the police record of a woman he was flirting with earlier this year.


Working from home and confidentiality

Top Secret

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data has revealed an increase in the number of Australians regularly working from home. Regardless of the reason an employee works from home, confidentiality must be managed through an appropriate policy that addresses situations that are likely to arise both in and outside the workplace.


Teacher compensated for disclosure of health information on note found in staff toilet

Flushed away

Most employers and employees do the right thing with employee personal information by keeping it securely stored and protected from disclosure or loss. However, occasional slips by employees with control over personal information can be costly both in a financial sense and in an emotional sense.


How confidential information can escape from open-plan offices

Prison break!

Open-plan offices allow managers to observe their teams at all times much like wardens, but the reverse is also true – employees can likewise see and hear what their managers are up to and may be exposed to information that is not necessarily meant for their consumption.


Employees’ access to personal information

Just one look...

Just one look... or in the case for one former job centre employee, thirty five unauthorised “looks” at an ex-lover’s job seeker profile.


Employee Admits to Copying and Accessing Former Employer’s Confidential Information

Copy and Paste

Employees have ready access to their employer’s confidential information during the course of their employment. For an employee, this information is important in order to carry out their duties but for an exiting employee, they may be tempted to improperly retain confidential information believing it will be useful in their new position.