There are many ways that an employer can monitor your activities in the workplace, and they are allowed to do so by the law. While there are limitations as to how they can and can’t screen your work, they are allowed to do the following:
It is not always obvious that you’re being monitored, especially since CCTV recordings are rarely reviewed, except in instances when there is a security breach or other concern. However, all the mentioned forms of monitoring are actually covered by the data protection law. The law does not prohibit monitoring in the workplace, though it stipulates the circumstances and manner in which the monitoring should be done.
Some of the reasons why an employer may choose to monitor the staff include:
Many large organizations now have internet and social media policies that may include monitoring employees’ usage of the internet during work hours, or access to networking websites. They also have IT and communications policies providing guidelines on how employees should use their systems.
Before investing in monitoring systems, employers should:
In most cases, employers should take the appropriate steps to inform their staff that they will start monitoring, what will be monitored, and the reasons why it is important. After carrying out proper impact assessment, employers can be better able to justify the monitoring without requiring the consent of individual staff members.
The right to privacy
Even though there are laws touching on organizational monitoring, there exist implied legal obligations of trust and confidence between an employer and employees. Employers should only act with reasonable and proper cause, so as they don’t destroy the relationship of mutual trust between themselves and their staff.
If employees feel that monitoring at work is intrusive, it is important that employers identify ways to strike a balance between their own interests, and the legitimate concerns and expectations to privacy of their staff.
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