Privacy Policy


The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is the peak body representing 38 affiliated Australian trade unions and the interests of almost 2 million workers across Australia. The ACTU collects personal information in order to conduct its business of promoting Australian trade unions and improving the lives of all Australians and their families. We may also collect information to inform you about or provide you with products and services. The ACTU operates in the political, legal, industrial and social spheres. The ACTU is committed to protecting your privacy and providing you with information and services relevant to you. The ACTU complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). This Privacy Policy (Policy) should be read in conjunction with the Privacy Act and the APPs.

In this Policy, ACTU includes ACTU Member Connect Pty Ltd, ACTU Education Inc. t/a ACTU Organising Centre, Australian Unions, and The Union Education Foundation Limited (TUEF). 

How this Policy applies

This Policy applies to personal and sensitive information the ACTU collects from you:

  • via one of our websites;
  • via social media;
  • via telephone;
  • via email;
  • via fax;
  • in person; and/or
  • in writing.

This Policy also applies to personal and sensitive information the ACTU collects from its affiliated Australian trade unions or any other third party, about you.

ACTU websites

The ACTU websites collect two types of information. The first type is anonymous information. The web server makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:

  • the user’s server address;
  • the user’s top level domain name (e.g. .com, .gov, .net, .au, etc.);
  • the date and time of the visit to the site;
  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded;
  • the previous site visited; and
  • the type of browser used.

No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the internet service provider’s logs. 

The second type of information that ACTU websites collect is personal and sensitive information. Both Ppersonal and sensitive information is requested and stored in order to provide personalised and enhanced services that are not available to anonymous users. 

A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. Cookies may be used on the ACTU’s websites.

Our websites may contain links to other websites and social media pages including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are not responsible for the privacy policies of the entities responsible for those websites and we recommend that you review the privacy policies applicable to any other websites you visit.

The kinds of personal information the ACTU may collect

From time to time you may voluntarily supply your personal and/or sensitive information to the ACTU. The ACTU will record your e-mail address if you send us a message, subscribe to an email newsletter, agree to receive emails from us, or complete a form if this information is requested. 

When you provide your personal and/or sensitive information, it allows us, for example, to assist you with industrial relations and employment queries, inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns, and refer you to an appropriate Australian trade union. You may supply personal and/or sensitive information to the ACTU by, for example, responding to a survey, taking part in a competition, or signing up to a campaign. 

The ACTU only collects and stores personal and/or sensitive information that is necessary for the ACTU to perform its functions and/or activities, which includes encouraging workers to join their union, running campaigns to improve or defend workers’ rights including political campaigns, and to conduct research about views and attitudes to workplace, social and other issues.  More information about how we treat the personal and/or sensitive information we collect from you as part of conducting a survey for research purposes is contained in “Schedule 1 – Research Surveys”.

Depending upon the circumstances, you may provide to the ACTU, and the ACTU may collect, information such as, but not limited to:

  • your name;
  • your contact details including phone/mobile number and residential/work address;
  • your social media details (e.g. blogs, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn);
  • your gender and age;
  • your marital status;
  • your employment details;
  • your educational qualifications; and
  • your inquiry or complaint details.

Some personal information is considered sensitive information and includes:

  • your political opinions;
  • your political party membership (if any);
  • your union membership (if any);
  • your racial or ethnic origin;
  • your sexual orientation;
  • any disabilities, illnesses or injuries you may have; and/or
  • any other health information.

We will only collect and store sensitive information where we have received your consent to that information being collected, used, disclosed and stored by the ACTU in accordance with this Policy, and provided that the collection is reasonably necessary for us to pursue one or more of our functions or activities. 

Where you provide information to the ACTU in relation to a job application the personal information you provide will only be collected, held, used and disclosed for the purposes of considering your potential employment with the ACTU. Where you provide the details of referees, you confirm that you have informed the referees that you are providing their contact information to the ACTU and they have consented to the ACTU contacting them and discussing the personal information you have provided in relation to the job application.

We will collect personal and/or sensitive information directly from you unless: 

  • you have consented to the ACTU’s collection of your personal information from third parties – for example, the ACTU’s affiliated Australian trade unions, or your representatives, or one of our partners or sponsors; or
  • when we are legally required to do so; or
  • it is unreasonable or impractical to do so.

You can choose to interact with us anonymously or by using a pseudonym where it is lawful and practicable. For example, you may wish to enquire about a particular campaign anonymously or under a pseudonym. Your decision to interact anonymously or by using a pseudonym may affect the level of service we can offer you. For example, we may not be able to assist you with a specific industrial enquiry or investigate a privacy complaint on an anonymous or pseudonymous basis. We will inform you if this is the case and let you know the options available to you.

If we receive unsolicited personal and/or sensitive information about or relating to you and we determine that such information could have been collected in the same manner if we had solicited the information, then we will treat it in the same way as solicited personal and/or sensitive information and in accordance with the APPs. Otherwise if we determine that such information could not have been collected in the same manner as solicited personal/sensitive information, and that information is not contained in a Commonwealth record, we will, if it is lawful and reasonable to do so, destroy the information or de-identify the information.

The purposes for which personal information is collected, held, used and disclosed

The ACTU collects, holds, uses and discloses your personal and/or sensitive information including your email address to:

  • assist you with industrial relations and employment queries;
  • inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns;
  • inform you about your rights at work;
  • inform you about changes to legislation;
  • facilitate your membership application to an affiliated union;
  • refer you to an appropriate union;
  • improve our service delivery and websites;
  • manage the ACTU’s relationship with you;
  • conduct surveys and research (See Schedule 1 – Research Surveys);
  • provide educational services and professional development;
  • promote and market the ACTU and its events, products or services;
  • enable our partners and sponsors to promote and market their events, products or services to you;
  • subscribe to the receive ACTU’s communications, including email, SMS and hard-copy direct mail and/or e-newsletter(s); and/or
  • enable our third party service providers to do or assist with the above.

Using your information for direct marketing

You consent to our use and disclosure of your personal and/or sensitive information for the purposes of direct marketing which may include providing you with promotional material, information about events, products or services of the ACTU or third parties such as partners and sponsors, which may be of interest to you, now and in the future.

If you do not want us to use your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may elect not to receive direct marketing at the time of providing your personal information. You can opt out when you are contacted, or you can contact us using the contact details set out below, if you do not want to receive marketing information. An opt-out/unsubscribe link will be automatically included in all non-transactional emails. 

Unsubscribing and opting out

We try to ensure that the communications you receive from us are relevant to you. If you no longer wish to receive direct marketing or other communications from us, you may request at any time to cancel your consent to such communications as follows: 

  • If you receive an email from us, you may “unsubscribe” at any time using the link that is included at the bottom of all emails sent by us;
  • The ACTU may, from time to time, send you text messages about issues of importance such as events or campaigns. You may “opt out” by texting STOP in reply to a text message from the ACTU. Where we send a message via a short-code, you can opt-out by emailing your request to and we will manually unsubscribe you from receiving text messages;
  • You may contact us at any time by mail or email directed to our Privacy Officer.

Please note: there are some circumstances where we may send you email or text messages even if you have unsubscribed or opted out. These will be administrative or transactional messages, that could include receipts, event confirmations, or communications related to an application to join your union. 

Disclosure of your personal and/or sensitive information

The ACTU may disclose your personal and/or sensitive information, in connection with or to further the purposes outlined above, to:

  • affiliated Australian trade unions;
  • affiliated trades halls or labour councils;
  • political parties;
  • government bodies or agencies (including the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Australian Tax Office, an anti-discrimination body, a work/occupational health and safety regulator);
  • organisations to whom we outsource functions (including information technology providers, social media and communications partners, print service providers, mail houses);
  • otherwise as you have consented; and/or
  • otherwise as required by law.

If any of these organisations are located outside Australia, you expressly consent to us disclosing your personal information to those organisations. These parties may be located in the following regions:

  • The United States of America
  • The EU

We take reasonable steps to ensure that each organisation that we disclose your personal information to is committed to protecting your privacy and complies with the APPs, or is subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the APPs protect information.

By providing your personal information to the ACTU, you consent to us transferring your personal information to such other organisations.

How the ACTU holds personal and sensitive information

Wherever reasonably practicable the ACTU holds electronic personal and/or sensitive information on data servers that are owned and controlled by the ACTU in Australia. The data servers are password protected and login secured. However, by providing personal and/or sensitive information to the ACTU you consent to your information being stored and processed on a data server or data servers (such as cloud services) owned by a third party or third parties that may be located outside of Australia.

The ACTU will take reasonable steps to ensure that any third party providers comply with the APPs, or are subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the APPs protect information.

Wherever reasonably practicable the ACTU holds physical personal and/or sensitive information in access controlled premises. 

When the ACTU no longer requires your personal and/or sensitive information for a specific purpose and we are not required to keep it to comply with any laws, we will take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to destroy your personal and/or sensitive information or to ensure that the information is de-identified.

Government Identifiers

We will not adopt as our own identifier a government related identifier of an individual, such as a tax file number or Medicare card number and will only collect, store, use or disclose a government related identifier where the use or disclosure:

  • is reasonably necessary for the ACTU to verify your identity for the purposes of our activities or functions;
  • is reasonably necessary for the ACTU to fulfil its obligations to an agency or a State or Territory authority;
  • is required or authorised by or under an Australian law; or
  • is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement related activities conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body.

IT – user data collection

Some contractors and others who are provided with access to ACTU accounts and networks may also be required to provide personal information collected by the Microsoft authentication service to assist with two factor authentication. This is maintained within the Microsoft licensing portal and is removed when user accounts are closed. Any information such as personal email addresses or phone numbers collected for this purpose are only accessible by ACTU IT authorised administration staff for the purpose of assisting staff with authentication and is not shared. Alternative options such as an authenticator application are also available. 

How you may seek access and/or correction to personal and/or sensitive information held by the ACTU

You have the right to request access to your personal and/or sensitive information and request that it be updated or corrected. In most cases you can gain access to your personal and/or sensitive information that the ACTU holds. To request access to, correction of, or updating of any personal and/or sensitive information held about you, please write to the ACTU Privacy Officer at the following address: 

ACTU Privacy Officer
365 Queen Street Melbourne
Victoria 3000

General enquiries can be made via telephone by calling the following number:

P: 1300 486 466

The ACTU requires that you provide proof of identity in order to seek access to your personal information. The ACTU may refuse to provide access if permitted to do so by law or under the APPs. The ACTU will seek to provide you with access to your personal information within 30 days of receipt of a valid request and may charge you a reasonable fee for doing so.

You can contact the ACTU to let us know if any of your personal information has changed. Please contact the ACTU Privacy Officer in writing to update any personal information. The ACTU may also take steps to update your personal information by reference to publicly available sources such as telephone directories or electoral rolls.

How you may complain about a breach of the APPs

To make a complaint about an alleged breach of the APPs please write to or email the ACTU Privacy Officer at one of the following addresses:

ACTU Privacy Officer
365 Queen Street Melbourne
Victoria 3000

All complaints must be written. Please provide all details about your complaint as well as any supporting documentation to the ACTU Privacy Officer.

How the ACTU will deal with complaints

The ACTU will seek to deal with privacy complaints as follows:

  • complaints will be treated seriously;
  • complaints will be dealt with promptly;
  • complaints will be dealt with confidentially;
  • complaints will be investigated by the ACTU Privacy Officer; and
  • the outcome of an investigation will be provided to the complainant where the complainant has provided proof of identity.

The ACTU will seek to respond within 30 days of receipt of a valid complaint.

Variations to the Policy

This Policy may be varied from time to time and an updated version will be posted on the ACTU’s websites. Please check our websites regularly to ensure that you have the most recent version of the Policy.

Schedule 1 – Research Surveys

In this schedule: Identifiable research information means personal and/or sensitive information about participants in a project. It includes any information or opinion (whether true or not) about a participant who is identified or could reasonably be identified, contact details, research status and research data. It may also include information that is not collected by means of direct questioning but by techniques such as observation or remote recording of customer behaviour. It does not include any unsolicited information.

ACTU may conduct surveys for research purposes from time to time and may collect identifiable research information in connection with those surveys.  Where this occurs, the ACTU’s Privacy Policy will apply, as supplemented by this schedule.  

Prior to your participating in a research survey, we will inform you: 

  •        If your participation is anonymous or identifiable;
  •        Who will have access to your identifiable research information;

If you participate in a research survey, we may use, disclose, or otherwise treat your information for any and all purposes if it is de-identified.

Where it is reasonably practicable to do so, we will collect your identifiable research information directly from you. We will only collect your sensitive information with your consent and where this is necessary for research purposes.

Where your identifiable personal and/or sensitive information is collected for a dual purpose, i.e. for research purposes and for marketing purposes, we will inform you prior to your participating in a research survey and we will ensure that your consent is received prior to using that identifiable information for the non-research purpose.

We will only use your identifiable research information for the purpose of collection or reasonably related purposes.

We may use your identifiable research information for the purposes of recording how frequently you would like us to contact you for research purposes. Where do this, we will only use your personal information so far as is necessary to achieve this.

We may use your identifiable personal information to contact you for further research. If you have indicated that you would prefer not to participate in further research, we will only do so in limited circumstances where necessary.

How you access, update or correct your identifiable research information held by the ACTU, and how to make complaints will be as set out in this privacy policy in relation to personal information

We may refuse to update, correct or de-identify any identifiable research information if doing so would disclose another person’s identifiable research information or materially alter information that is necessary to be held for research purposes (such as a point—in-time record).

We will only keep your identifiable research information for so long as is necessary for research purposes and will take reasonable steps to de-identify or destroy your identifiable research information when it is no longer required for research purposes.

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