E tū: WINZ breaching privacy laws with WINZ vetting rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices.

The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.

The guards say this places them in the firing line of public anger and is a threat to their safety.

E tū spokesperson, Jill Ovens says the latest concerns over privacy are equally troubling and what is happening is illegal.

“We have been contacted by worried security guards who say sensitive details about clients with appointments are included in the letters they are checking before admitting people into WINZ offices,” says Jill, E tū Industry Co-ordinator, Commercial and Public.

“This includes personal matters such as bond and/ or rent arrears, food assistance, car repairs and so forth.

“Our security guards are extremely uncomfortable being privy to these details and believe it is wrong."

Jill says the guards have been asked to engage WINZ clients in a "conversation" to screen potentially abusive or dangerous clients. 

"Security guards should not be put in a position where they are breaching people's privacy.”

Jill says beneficiary advocates are also concerned and it’s understood they have also spoken with MSD about the situation.

ENDS

For further information, contact Jill Ovens E tū Industry Co-ordinator, Commercial and Public ph. 027 446 4966