Security risk ... Customs have been warned that asking employees to wear name badges could pose a serious security risk. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer
AN INDUSTRIAL dispute involving Customs and Border Protection has erupted after officers expressed fears a new dress code forcing them to wear badges with their full names will make them targets for organised crime syndicates, drug dealers and angry members of the public.
The Community and Public Sector Union has warned Customs that the move is considered to be a potentially serious security risk.
It is understood that there has already been a case, in which the family of an officer whose identify was revealed, were stalked.
Rebecca Fawcett, the acting deputy secretary of the union, said the members felt so strongly that the matter may escalate and end up before Fair Work Australia.
"Customs officers have difficult and dangerous duties particularly when they are our frontline of border protection. This presents a real risk and makes them a target."
The changes follow a review of uniform policies earlier this year, in which Customs introduced a requirement for all uniformed and non-uniformed officers with public contact to wear a name badge with their full name displayed.
A spokesman for Customs said that the requirement is not new, adding there have been discussions with the union since April this year, regarding the change in policy.
"Customs and Border Protection is aware that staff and the Community and Public Sector Union have concerns regarding the name badge policy," said the spokesman.
He said that where an officer has "evidence that complying with these requirements would compromise their personal safety, the officer can seek an exemption."