My employer (in New South Wales, Australia) conducts frequent office inspections. Although they used to only look at fire and electrical hazards, the health and safety team (made of employees that volunteer for this task) have recently started inspecting the content of the drawers and cabinets located under and above our desks.
Here are my questions:
Is an employer allowed to inspect drawers and cabinets without the employee's consent?
If yes, can the employee request this to be done only when the employee is present?
Is it different if the cabinets are locked or can be locked with a key (even if the employer has a general key to open all draws)?
This link suggests that an employer is not allowed to do so, but they don't provide any reference: http://workplaceinfo.com.au/hr-management/hr-policies/q-a/can-you-search-employees-bags-and-lockers
"If a locker is granted for an employee’s use, to the exclusion of all other persons, an employer has no unqualified right to open the locker."