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Employer Property Policy

Version 1.1 Updated 3 Jun 2022
Policy Manage

Who can use this policy

This policy can be used by all employers.

Commentary

It is common for employers to provide employees, agents and contractors, including temporary contractors (referred to as ‘workplace participants’) with property in the course of employment or a contract for services. Such property may include, but is not limited to, motor vehicles, mobile phones, computers, clothing, tools, or intellectual property.

Providing such property carries inherent risks. For instance, the workplace participant could damage or lose the property. This could lead to disputes about who is liable for the loss or damage, and the extent to which that person is liable.

This policy sets out the responsibilities of workplace participants who have been given access to, or use of, property belonging to the employer. In summary, the Policy requires workplace participants to exercise care over the property and to return property on termination or at any other time as directed by the employer.

Limitations

In New South Wales, the Employees Liability Act 1991 ('the Act') limits the circumstances on which an employer may recoup losses from employees. The Act prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to indemnify the employer where the employee commits a tort (i.e. a civil wrong) for which the employer is also liable. However, the following circumstances are not included in this protection:

  • a tort involving serious and wilful misconduct; and/or
  • where the tort did not occur in the course of, and did not arise out of, the employee's employment.

 

For instance, where an employee causes a motor vehicle accident in the course of employment (and the accident was not caused due to the employee’s serious and wilful misconduct), the employer cannot require the employee to indemnify the employer for the loss caused.

If you are unsure about whether you can require employees to indemnify the employer in certain circumstances, we recommend you seek advice from a workplace lawyer, such as Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors.

Important note to subscribers

The commentaries and documents in Workplace are updated as necessary, to keep them relevant. You should familiarise yourself with the relevant commentary each time you create a document.

This document has been drafted to suit a wide variety of businesses, with a number of options available to enable you to customise the document to better suit your business. Nevertheless, you may need to make other changes to the document so that it suits the specific needs of your business. If you make additional changes, we cannot guarantee that the changes and modifications you make to the document will be legally compliant or enforceable.

This commentary and any additional information provided to assist you in creating this document, does not constitute legal advice.

If you are unsure about any aspect of this document (including the changes or amendments you make to it), you should seek appropriate advice from a lawyer, skilled in these issues. You may also wish to consider contacting Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors for targeted advice on your business’s specific needs.

You should consult with your financial advisor in relation to any relevant taxation or financial issues concerning the document you create.

After creating this document, you should read through it carefully to make sure it meets your business needs and is consistent with other industrial instruments, policies and procedures which operate in your workplace. This commentary is not designed to be provided to employees or other workplace participants.

 

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