Standard 25 - surveillance

Surveillance plays a small but important role in the workers compensation scheme; however, it can significantly erode worker trust and must therefore be used judiciously.


Principle: Decisions to engage surveillance services will be based on firm evidence; surveillance will be conducted in an ethical manner; and information obtained through surveillance will be used and stored appropriately.

S25.1 The insurer must only conduct surveillance of a worker when:
  • there is evidence that the worker is exaggerating an aspect of the claim or providing misleading information in relation to a claim; the insurer reasonably believes that the claim is inconsistent with information in the insurer’s possession; or the insurer reasonably believes that fraud is being committed;
  • AND

  • the insurer is satisfied that it cannot gather the information required through less intrusive means and that the benefit of obtaining the information outweighs the intrusion into the worker’s privacy;
  • AND

  • the surveillance is likely to gather the information required.
Evidence on claim file.
S25.2 Insurers must ensure that any surveillance meets the following requirements:
  • the scope and duration of the surveillance is clearly articulated;
  • surveillance is only conducted in or from places regarded as public;
  • the surveillance does not interfere with the worker’s activities while under observation;
  • the surveillance does not include any acts of inducement, entrapment or trespass, including the use of social media with the intention to induce, entrap or deceive;
  • the surveillance is undertaken in a way that demonstrates sensitivity to the privacy rights of children, takes reasonable action to avoid video surveillance of children, and where possible does not show images of children in reports and recordings;
  • where possible, reports and recordings are redacted or censored to minimise the likelihood of other individuals being identifiable;
  • communication is not undertaken with other individuals in a way that may reveal (directly or indirectly) that surveillance is in place; and
  • recordings and any other materials collected are securely stored.
Evidence on claim file.
S25.3Insurers must not provide misleading information in response to a question from a worker about whether surveillance is in place; however, insurers are to take into consideration an investigator’s safety and the worker’s wellbeing when responding to a worker’s question.Evidence on claim file.
S25.4If the insurer provides material gathered through surveillance to a third party, the insurer must inform the third party about relevant confidentiality and privacy obligations.Evidence on claim file.