23 November

Government set to change ‘spying’ laws on workers

If recent surveys are anything to go by, then electronic monitoring of home workers is on the rise. The government is being asked to re-examine the rules and ban ‘creepy’ webcam use.

Government set to change ‘spying’ laws on workers

In the last 18 months most of us have been told to pack up the office and work from home. The pandemic forced millions of us change our work routines. But with this has come the added layers of employee monitoring.

Firms have been using technology to monitor staff performance for years, cameras watching desks, movement sensors, keyboard and mouse movements recording your every click.

Latest polling surveys suggest 32% of home workers are now being watched – up from 24% in April 2021. But even more shocking 13% of firms use some sort of webcam to monitor home working.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) advises that employers should ensure staff are aware of monitoring at work – whether at home or in the office – before it starts. They should also explicitly be informed of the reasons for this happening.

The ICO urges employers to consider the potential negative effects of monitoring on staff and whether there are less intrusive alternatives, such as catch-up calls or email exchanges.

“We are currently working on updating our employment practices guidance to address the changes in data protection law and to reflect the new ways employers use technology and interact with staff, People expect that they can keep their personal lives private and that they are also entitled to a degree of privacy in the workplace.” ICO spokesperson said.


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