Monitoring and surveillance of employees is it legal and lawful

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The legality, advisability and morality of monitoring and/or surveillance of employees is a hot topic and an increasingly important one in the age of remote working and highly valuable IP.

So, in what circumstances might it be lawful for an employetr to monitor or even conduct surveillance? What are employees privacy and other rights?

Alex Kleanthous talks through some of the main points including:

1. Monitoring might be an intention to check what your employers are doing - that they are doing their hours and whether they are working efficiently, especially with remote workers.
2. It can also be where there is suspected wrongdoing such as accessing or copying confidential data, assisting competitors or perhaps fraud.
3. The law on monitoring is complex - will involve consideration of employment contracts and policies, privacy law and data protection and GDPR.
4. Checking your contracts of employment and policies is the first step if as employer you think you need to monitor.
5. Privacy rights are strong but there is no 100% absolute right to privacy for employees. There are circumstances where employers may be able to justify intrusion.
6. From the employee perspective, if any form of monitoring ir surveillance is being considered there will need to be a very good reason and any monitoring or surveillance would need to be justifiable as necessary, reasonable and proportionate.
7. Whether you need to alert the employee first will depend on the reasons for the monitoring.
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