February



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| Credit and Financial Checks
February 25, 2016
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City Will Ban Employers From Viewing Credit History of Prospective Workers

New York City Council is expected to pass a bill that will make it illegal for employers to check job-seekers' credit history. In addition to banning credit reports on a prospective employee, the bill also prohibits employers from asking people what their credit score is in job interviews.

"There's just no demonstrated correlation between credit history and job performance, or the likelihood to commit fraud or theft," said the bill's sponsor, City Councilman Brad Lander. Lander said it was decided to exempt only a handful of employers - like law enforcement and positions that could pose cybersecurity threats.

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| Health & Social Care
February 4, 2016
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Pre-employment screening in health and aged care

A critical lesson from the Quakers Hill Nursing Home disaster is to conduct adequate pre-employment screening and check references on new employees.
 
These principles may also be applied to conducting adequate background checks and checking references on independent contractors such as agency staff, volunteers and potential residents. Importantly the screening process must comply with Australian Privacy Principles, anti-discrimination legislation and other laws. By revealing information in relation to attributes protected under anti-discrimination laws, the screening of job applicants can expose an employer to a claim alleging breach of those laws.
 
If employers regard the screening process information as essential to their recruitment decision-making, they should ensure that such information has a clear connection to the inherent requirements of the position.

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February 4, 2016
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NSW gets new cross-border data sharing rules

NSW will finally get new privacy laws that govern how and when state-held information can be shared outside its boundaries, thanks to an amendment to the Privacy Act passed by parliament.
 
The legislation is aimed at addressing deficiencies in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which meant personal information on NSW citizens was no longer protected once it moved outside state borders.
 
The state's privacy legislation, which controls the use and disclosure of personal data held by public sector organisations, came into effect 17 years ago. Guidelines for data sharing interstate and with Commonwealth were expected to follow soon after but never materialised.
 
The new law is designed to make it clear that NSW entities are still responsible for privacy even outside state borders when they are sharing data with other governments or third-party vendors like cloud hosting providers. The bill passed unopposed.

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