HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE is strongly committed to protecting the right to privacy of every individual including its clients. employees and business partners. As such it is our policy that the collection, security, quality, use and disclosure of personal information shall be conducted in accordance with the “Privacy Act 1988” , “Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000”.Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, and the Australian Privacy Principles contained within the legislation.
It is our policy to only collect personal information by lawful and fair means and we will only collect personal information that is necessary for employment purposes, conducting our business in general, or delivery of Home Instead services to our clients.
HOME INSTEAD Senior Care’s “Privacy Statement” is as follows:
Except in cases of emergency, or as required by Federal and/or State Legislation, it is the policy and practice of HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE to ensure that any personal or business related information obtained by our organization from employees, clients or business partners is, without exception, to be used solely for the purpose of interaction between us, our employees, our clients and our business partners. Under no circumstances shall such information be intentionally provided to any third party without the written permission of all parties involved.
Home Instead Senior Care collects personal information about its clients to assist in the provision of quality care services and about its employees so that we can effectively train, manage and ensure the safety of each employee. Information relating to business partners is collected and maintained solely for the purpose of being able to legally conduct business in accordance with taxation and other related legislation.
(a) Client Information:
Client Information is collected to allow us to provide quality services to each client. It may range from the everyday personal information (eg addresses and phone numbers) to sensitive or health information including for example (but not limited to) information about:
- racial or ethnic origin, sexual preferences or practices;
- membership of political association or religious beliefs, affiliations or philosophical beliefs;
- general information about the status of an individual’s health or disability,;
- general information about a person’s living arrangements, family and work life, interests and hobbies
- details of current medications, allergies or food preferences;
- details relating to the type and condition of a residence (including stairs, wheelchair access and home aids etc); or information about
- a person’s wishes, preferences and desires for care services including healthcare and end of life decisions.
The Australian Privacy Principles or APPs set the minimum standard about the collection, use, disclosure and storage of health information. Information privacy rights mean that a client or employee of Home Instead Senior Care is entitled to:
- Be told about what happens to their health information;
- Have more choice and control over their information;
- Ask to see what health information is kept about them and, if they think it is wrong, they can ask for it to be corrected;
- Be told why and when we may need to share their health information, for example to ensure that they receive quality care.
Personal and sensitive information about a client can in most cases, only be disclosed with their consent. There may be times when a client is not able to make their own decision about how their information is handled or staff may need to disclose sensitive information about a client to a person who has a valid reason for accessing this information, such as a doctor or pharmacist or any other person who is providing treatment or care to the client. Prior to providing any services to a client, HISC staff will discuss the management of personal and sensitive including health information with the client or as appropriate with the client’s responsible person, such as a carer, family member or guardian to ensure quality of care and management of personal and sensitive information at all times.
(b) Employee Information:
Employee Information is collected to allow Home Instead Senior Care to effectively recruit, train, manage and ensure the safety of each staff member. Information collected about our employees includes but is not limited to:
- Names and address and contact details
- References and results of enquiries that we might make with nominated referees including former employers, work colleagues, professional associations;
- Performance feedback (whether positive or negative)
Personal information may be used by us in connection with an employees work placement; their performance appraisals; our identification of their training needs; and our management of any complaint, investigation or inquiry in which they are involved including insurance claims.
Sensitive information may include but shall not be limited to:
- racial or ethnic origin, sexual preferences or practices;
- political opinion;
- memberships of political associations or religious beliefs, affiliations etc;
- health or disability information;
Sensitive information may be used to enable us to match employee’s interests with the interests of our clients. In most cases this sensitive information is for internal use only and can only be disclosed with the employees consent.
Employee Tax File Number (TFN)
Home Instead will only request or collect TFN information from employees for taxation, personal assistance or superannuation law purposes
Employees may decline to quote a TFN, however there may be financial / PAYG taxation consequences for an employee who chooses not to quote their TFN.
Home Instead will take reasonable steps to:
- Protect the misuse and loss, unauthorized access, use, modification or disclosure of TFN information.
- Ensure that access to TFN information is restricted only to individuals who need to handle the TFN information for taxation, personal assistance or superannuation law purposes.
- Securely destroy or permanently de-identify TFN information where it is no longer required to be retained by law or necessary for the taxation, personal assistance or superannuation law purposes.
All Home Instead staff who collect or access TFN information are aware of the circumstances where TFN information may be collected, understand the prohibitions on the use and disclosure of TFN information and the need to protect individuals’ privacy when handling TFN information under the Privacy Act, and the penalties or sanctions that apply should a breach of the TFN Rule or applicable laws occur.
The TFN of former Home Instead employees will be deleted and/or securely destroyed at the end of each financial year. TFN of past employees will not be retained by Home Instead Senior Care.
(c) Management of Personal Information:
Home Instead Senior Care will take every appropriate measure to ensure that:
- All information collected about its clients and employees is secure;
- It provides appropriate training for employees about the management of personal and sensitive (including health) information of its clients;
- It does not disclose any information kept about its clients to anyone except those who have a valid reason for accessing this information, and specifically will not disclose any client or employee information to any overseas recipient unless the individual involved has provided express consent to the disclosure of this information;
(d) The only exception to this policy applies when the laws of the relevant State or Territory or of Australia require that information be divulged.
Access to Personal Information
Clients and employees have a right to request access to the Personal Information held about them by Home Instead and it is the policy of the organization to make all reasonable attempts to grant access providing the request:
- Is not frivolous or vexatious
- Does not pose a serious threat to the life or health of any individual or impacts on the privacy of other individuals
- Does not jeapordise existing or anticipated legal proceedings
- Does not prejudice negotiations between an individual and Home Instead Senior Care
- Is not unlawful or likely to prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity
- Does not reveal information held by Home Instead Senior Care that is commercially sensitive.
Clients, employees and business partners have the right to request the correction of personal information if they believe that information held by Home Instead Senior Care is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. If Home Instead Senior Care has reason to refuse the request to correct the personal information, the applicant shall be provided, by Home Instead Senior Care, with a written notice detailing the reasons for refusal. This shall not apply in situations where it would be unreasonable for Home Instead Senior Care to carry out the request. Any written response would also advise on the mechanisms available for lodgment of a complaint about the refusal.
Any party wishing to lodge a complaint in relation to the way Home Instead Senior Care has managed personal information or any other issue relating to services, employment or any other privacy-related issue with the organization may make the complaint verbally or in writing with the Home Instead Franchise Owner who is also the Privacy Officer for each location.
The Home Instead client complaint process is detailed in the Client Service Agreement provided to clients at the commencement of their services with HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE and also detailed in the Client Complaints Policy (GENPP-002). Our employee grievance process is detailed in the Employee Grievances and Resolution of Disputes Policy (GENPP-012). Business Partners who have a grievance should contact the Franchise Owner of the location with which the grievance exists. All complaints will be investigated according to our internal procedures and processes and the complainant will be provided with a response to their complaint within a reasonable timeframe
Home Instead Senior Care may from time to time use information to market services directly to you. We will not however disclose this information to any third party for the purposes of direct marketing. In the event that we use information about you for the purpose of direct marketing we will provide you with a mechanism to ‘opt-out’ and if you choose to ‘opt-out’ we will not continue to use information about you for direct marketing purposes.
It is the responsibility of HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE and Franchise Owners to ensure that clients and employees are familiar with this policy and to provide a written Privacy Statement to persons and entities involved with the organisation.
It is the responsibility of all employees on a day to day basis, in everything that they do in the workplace, to ensure that their activities comply with this policy.
Failure by any employee to comply with the requirements of this Policy shall result in disciplinary action that may include termination of employment.