Simply Helping will manage and ensure that our organisation provides participant access to services and supports that respect and protect their dignity and right to privacy. This policy applies to all Simply Helping staff, management and support workers.
Simply Helping is committed to protecting and upholding all stakeholders right to privacy and dignity; including participants, support workers, management and representatives of agencies we deal with.
Simply Helping is committed to protecting and upholding the participants right to privacy and dignity as we collect, store and handle information about them, their needs and the services provided to them.
Simply Helping requires support workers, administration staff and management to be consistent and careful in the way they manage what is written and said about individuals and how they decide who can see or hear this information.
Simply Helping is subject to safeguards, rules and regulations. Simply Helping will follow the guidelines of the Australian Privacy Principles in its information management practices.
Simply Helping will ensure that each participant understands, and agrees to, what personal information will be collected and why, including recorded material in an audio and/or visual format.
Simply Helping will advise each participant of privacy policies using the language, mode of communication and terms that the participant is most likely to understand. (Easy Read documents are made available to all participants).
Simply Helping will ensure that:
- It meets its legal and ethical obligations as an employer and service provider in relation to protecting the privacy of participants and organisational personnel.
- The participants are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy and confidentiality.
- The participants and organisational personnel are provided with privacy, and confidentiality is assured, when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature.
- All support workers, staff, management and volunteers understand what is required in meeting these obligations.
- Participants are advised of Simply Helping’s confidentiality policies using the language, mode of communications and terms that are most likely to be understood. Simply Helping will attempt to locate interpreters and will use easy access materials, such as those on the NDIS website.
This policy conforms to the Federal Privacy Act (1988) and the Australian Privacy Principles, which govern the collection, use and storage of personal information.
This policy will apply to all records, whether hard copy or electronic, containing personal information about individuals, and to interviews or discussions of a sensitive personal nature.
Dealing with personal information
In dealing with personal information, all Simply Helping staff will:
- Ensure privacy for the participants, support worker, staff or management when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature.
- Only collect and store personal information that is necessary for the functioning of the organisation and its activities.
- Use fair and lawful ways to collect personal information.
- Collect personal information only with consent from the individual.
- Ensure that people know of the type of personal information being held, the purpose of keeping the information and the method it is collected, used, disclosed, and who will have access to it.
- Ensure that personal information collected or disclosed is accurate, complete, and up-to-date, and provide access to the individual to review information or correct wrong information about themselves.
- Take reasonable steps to protect all personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
- Destroy or permanently de-identify personal information no longer needed and/or after legal requirements for retaining documents have expired.
- Ensure that participants understand and agree with what personal information will be collected and why.
- Ensure participants are informed when any recordings occur in either audio and/or visual format. The participants involvement in any recording must be agreed to in writing.
Participant records will be kept confidential and only handled by staff directly engaged in the delivery of service to the participant. Information about participants may only be made available to other parties with the consent of the participant, or their advocate, guardian or legal representative. A written agreement giving permission to the recording must be maintained in the participant’s file.
All hard copy files of participant records will be kept securely in a locked filing cabinet, in the office of Director or Franchisee.
Responsibilities for Managing Privacy
All staff are responsible for the management of personal information to which they have access. The Directors are responsible for the content in Simply Helping publications, communications and on the website. This extends to all local advertising by Franchisees both in printed and/or electronic form and must ensure the following:
- Appropriate consent is obtained for the inclusion of any personal information about any individual, including Simply Helping personnel (Consent Policy and Procedure).
- Information being provided by other agencies or external individuals conforms to privacy principles
- That the website contains a Privacy statement that makes clear the conditions of any collection of personal information from the public through their visit to the website.
The Director is responsible for safeguarding personal information relating to Simply Helping’s staff, management and contractors. The Director will be responsible for:
- Ensuring that participants and other relevant individuals are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy and dignity.
- Handling any queries or complaints about a privacy issue.
Privacy Information for Participants
At the first interview, participants will be notified of the type of information is being collected about them, how their privacy will be protected, and their rights in relation to this data. Information sharing is part of our legislative requirements. Participants must give consent to any information sharing between our organisation and government bodies.
The participant is offered to opt-out of any information sharing during audits.
Privacy for Interviews and Personal Discussions
To ensure privacy for participants or Support Worker when discussing sensitive or personal matters, Simply Helping will only collect personal information which is necessary for the provision of supports and services and which;
- Is given voluntarily; and
- Will be stored securely on the Simply Helping database.
When in possession or control of a record containing personal information, Simply Helping will ensure that the record is protected against loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure, by such steps as it is reasonable in the circumstances to take. If it is necessary for that the record to be given to a person in connection with the provision of a service to Simply Helping, everything reasonable will be done to prevent unauthorised use or disclosure of that record.
Simply Helping will not disclose any personal information to a third party without the individual’s consent unless that disclosure is required or authorised by or under law.