Monday, 25 February 2019

Changes to time and attendance: Finger-scanning

Changes to time and attendance – Finger-scanning – February 2019 (PDF version)

A bulletin was sent to members on 18 February 2019 letting you know CPA had notified the CPSU NSW that they were introducing a new time and attendance system which would involve employees having to sign on and off using their finger. There had been no consultation with the CPSU NSW.

As we advised in our last bulletin, we would be meeting with the CPA to discuss concerns with the introduction of the finger-scanning and lack of consultation.


The main concern was privacy. What data is being collected and does CPA have the policies in place to ensure that legislative requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) were being adhered to.

The data collected when you scan your finger is not a finger print, it takes the measurements between the lines on the finger. This is not the same as a finger print such as that taken by the police.

Further, CPA has to adhere to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which requires there be privacy policies in place about the collection of this data that reflect the legislation. This means that the data it collects cannot be used for any other purpose than what it has been collected for – that means payroll and payroll alone.

Whilst there are protections in place, it was raised by the CPSU NSW that these are not foolproof and there maybe employees still with concerns about privacy, particularly when this data can be hacked.

Your union submitted the idea of having an alternative such as a code on the scanner to sign in, rather than the finger print.

CPA considered this feedback and determined that it would be happy to speak with each individual member who had an issue to talk through their concerns and come to some kind of resolution.

If you have concerns and would like to discuss this with CPA, it has asked that members send their concerns to . The CPSU NSW would be happy to assist members.

What type of scanner?

This is the client’s home and to have a large box placed in the residence area is invasive and also is left open to be destroyed by some clients. CPA advised it has made efforts to asses each home on an individual basis to see where is best for the scanner to be placed. In most instances we have been advised it is in the staff room.


CPA and the CPSU NSW are still divergent on this point with CPA believing they were not required to consult under the Copied State Award as the finger-scanning is already in existence in their business and this was business as usual.

CPA and CPSU NSW have agreed to continue discussions on this point.

As we understand, CPA advised there has been installation of the machine in some group homes. These are not active yet. They will not be active for a while yet, with a staged roll-out planned to ensure the transition is smooth and to allow for as much consultation with staff as possible.

If you have any concerns or would like our assistance in raising your concerns with CPA, please contact the union on 1300 772 679 or email .

For those who transferred to the community sector, it is now more important than ever that you be part of a Courageous, Powerful and Strong Union of Disability Workers.

You can contribute to becoming a strong Union of Disability Workers today by asking at least one colleague to JOIN the CPSU NSW by calling 1300 772 679 or JOIN ONLINE at