News Australasia

Friday 17 August 2018

Public servants asked to report colleagues who waste time at work or take long lunches

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Public servants in Australia have been asked to anonymously report colleagues who spend too long at lunch or who waste time in the office.

The BBC report on a memo sent to staff at the Australian Tax Office in December where employees were urged to tell management if they spotted anything 'suspicious'.

The memo, released to local media in Australia after a Freedom of Information request, is titled 'Seen something suspicious?'

It begins: "You might have seen it before. A colleague makes a habit of taking long lunches, or regularly leaves early, or spends the first hour at work eating breakfast and reading the paper ... or all of the above."

The memo goes on to say that workers may or may not have a reason for this behaviour but proper working hours need to be recorded in their internal system so if they had suspicions about workmates it was best if workers contact their manager and allow them to investigate.

“When a report is made it will be looked into but it doesn’t prejudge the outcome," the memo goes on to say.

"If there are reasonable explanations, these will be identified. If there aren’t, appropriate action will be taken. For privacy reasons you may not always know what the outcome is, but rest assured it will be looked into.”

A spokesperson for the Australian Services Union said the idea would only lead to distrust in the office.

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