GPS Vehicle Tracking and the Law – A Must Read for Fleet Managers

Technology has made it easier for businesses to monitor employer activity. A GPS vehicle tracking device is helpful to understanding what happens when an employee is in the field. The device works by recording information at intervals and sending it to the employer. Data collected includes: time, date and location. This information can be analysed by employers to explain an employee’s daily activity.

The device attaches directly to the vehicle. Employers with multiple employees will need to purchase a tracker for each employee’s vehicle. This will help employers match data to the right employee. There are some implications that question the device’s use and an employee’s right to privacy.

Workplace Surveillance Act and Employee Tracking

An employee’s right to privacy is protected by the Workplace Surveillance Act. Turnbull Hill lawyers have provided basic information for employers to consider when installing GPS tracking devices. Employers must understand that the device is only to track business activity. In order that an employee’s privacy is protected, the device should not be used when an employee is not working.

It is each employer’s responsibility to educate themselves on the ever changing workplace surveillance laws. Employers must notify their employees that they are being monitored. This notification must be completed in writing. Furthermore, the employees must be notified days before the surveillance starts. In fact, at least fourteen days is required before an employer can begin tracking an employee’s activities.

Employee Notification Requirements

The written employee notification must contain several elements. Employers must detail how they will track employees’ activity. The exact details of how the surveillance will be carried out are necessary. The employer should detail when the surveillance will begin and end.

If there are any limits or restrictions to the surveillance, the employee must be informed. Also, written notice must be inside of the vehicle. The notice (sign) should state that the vehicle is under GPS tracking surveillance. It must be visible and in plain view. There is no hiding the tracking from the employee.

Why Track an Employee?

Several reasons exist for employers to consider tracking their employees’ locations. Businesses are able to improve their efficiency through GPS tracking Not only does tracking specify where an employee has been, it provides service specific information to a business. Traffic affects service time. When traffic is heavy, employees can find that they are rushed to complete a job. Tracking data will provide drive time information to prevent bad traffic routes.

Also, fuel consumption data is provided. Fuel consumption is very important for businesses with multiple vehicles. A large component of fleet management is making the most out of fuel prices and consumption. The speed of a vehicle and the route taken can be managed through GPS tracking. Also, businesses are able to track toll positions and employee’s use for the best practices.

Data Gathered from Tracking

The downside to managing a business fleet is employee’s misuse. Many companies first consider GPS surveillance when they suspect an employee is misusing a company’s vehicle or time. Simply put, no one knows what the employee is doing when they leave the office.

Many employees are responsible and follow companies’ rules. Other employees leave and conduct personal business on the company’s time. GPS tracking will detail to companies three pieces of information to detail misuse to a company:

  1. What time the employee arrived to a site?
  2. How long the employee stayed at the location?
  3. Where the employee went after they left the location?

Also, this information is helpful for companies that billed by time. They can confirm the amount of time spent on a job site. A customer dispute is a great time to use this feature.

Benefits of Employee Training

Unfortunately, company vehicles are the target for theft. Vehicles with GPS tracking can quickly be located. Companies will be informed anytime the vehicle moves. Parameters can be set by companies with notifications. These are alerts for specific actions.

Great examples of these include: a moving vehicle, movement outside of approved time, movement into restricted areas and speeding. Speeding can have consequences for the driver and company. Also, speeding is a predictor of a future accident. Therefore, it is helpful to know the driving habits of employees.

Because employees know they are being tracked, they may change their bad driving habits. Safe driving and company efficacy are the goals.

Some of the top GPS Fleet Tracking companies in Australia are fleetcare, intellitrac and navmanwireless

Contributor bio: Melissa Routledge writes for the auto industry. Connect with Mel on Google+.


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