Monitoring Employees– What are the risks?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is calling on all businesses to consider both their legal obligations and their workers’ rights before they implement monitoring in the workplace. 

With the rise of remote working and developments in available technology, many employers are looking to carry out checks on workers. The ICO has has recently published guidance to help employers fully comply with data protection law if they wish to monitor their workers. 

Aimed at employers across both the public and private sector, the new guidance provides clear direction on how monitoring can be conducted lawfully and fairly. As well as outlining legal requirements, it also includes good practice advice to help employers build trust with their workers and respect their rights to privacy.  

Monitoring can include tracking calls, messages and keystrokes, taking screenshots, webcam footage or audio recordings, or using specialist monitoring software to track activity. 

If you are looking to monitor workers, you must take steps including:   

  • Making workers aware of the nature, extent and reasons for monitoring. 
  • Having a clearly defined purpose and using the least intrusive means to achieve it.  
  • Having a lawful basis for processing workers data – such as consent or legal obligation.  
  • Telling workers about any monitoring in a way that is easy to understand.  
  • Only keeping the information which is relevant to its purpose.  
  • Carrying out a Data Protection Impact Assessment for any monitoring that is likely to result in a high risk to the rights of workers.  
  • Making the personal information collected through monitoring available to workers if they make a Subject Access Request (SAR).  

If you would like more information or have any concerns about this subject, contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk and we can discuss.

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