EMPLOYEE MONTIORING – LEGAL?

 

Employee monitoring is a process wherein the employee’s activities are monitored in the organization. The area of monitoring depends upon the type of work that the employee is involved in. If an employee is bound to work inside the office premises, the area of monitoring might be restricted inside the office, but if his work involves travelling outside, then the area and the type of employee monitoring might differ.

 

Monitoring on the Rise:

 

According to recent surveys by the Society for Human Resource Development, around 74% of the companies are involved in monitoring the Internet activity of their employees. However this is done in a fair way by mentioning the terms and conditions in the privacy policy of the company guidelines. Monitoring is not only restricted to Internet, but also extend to company phones, vehicles and computers. While most of the companies go for Employee monitoring mechanisms, it is important they abide by the fair practices by notifying the employees about the acceptable activities and those that are not acceptable as per the company’s guidelines.

 

Legally Bound Properties:

 

Those properties that are owned by the company and are given to the usage of the employees fall under legally bound properties. The usage of such properties is restricted strictly for official purpose and the company has sole ownership of them.

 

Company Mobiles/Phones:

 

Mobile phones have become indispensible in one’s life, be it personal or Official. Companies offer their employees an official phone, so as to be able to contact them anytime. Also this has a policy attached to it that their calls could be monitored and the call history could be used as evidence in case of future disputes and the company is legally allowed to do so.In some cases, even before you are connected to a company call, you might listen to a recorded voice stating that your calls could be recorded for training purposes. So recording might not be just for monitoring purpose but also for training purposes.

 

Company Internet Usage:

 

 

Usage of Internet is on high-rise. People are addicted to make their online presence at frequent intervals. When a computer is accessed from a company premise, it should be understood that you are dealing with company’s confidential information’s at the backend.Also when an individual happens to open an illicit website or other harmful sites, it might put the company’s confidential data’s that are stored in the computer at risk. Internet hacking and stealing of confidential data is a widespread issue and should be dealt with extra care. Moreover productivity is worst affected if quality time is wasted on browsing unnecessary sites or for personal works.

 

Also the IP address and other data’s that re going to be recorded is that of the company and so the company has entire rights to monitor the employees Internet activity in the company’s computer and block unwanted and harmful sites. It is also obliged to make the employees well informed about the Internet usage policies and record the employee’s acknowledgment.

 

Company Webmail and Email services:

 

Any communication sent from a company’s official e-mail id is claimed to have been sent on behalf of the company. So great caution has to be exercised while accessing the company’s mail. All documents, quotations and other official communications are actually treated as legal documents and can be used as evidence during litigations or other disagreements. Usage of company mail-id for personal use might bring about seriously grave issues. So it becomes mandatory and legal for the employers to have a check on the usage of their property by the employees for further detail please visit here refog .

 

Company owned vehicles:

 

This comes to consideration only when employees are engaged in activities like marketing or other outdoor official visits. The most commonly used monitoring system for company vehicles is the GPRS tracker, which tracks the movement of the vehicles. Employees are bound to be answerable to their employers regarding their work and their travel during office hours. Simply being offsite does not give them any leniency in performing personal tasks. So Companies are legally free to keep a track over the employees while using company vehicles during office hours.

 

Privacy Rights of the Employees:

 

Although Employers are legally permitted to monitor their employees, there are a set of guidelines and limits to conduct such monitoring activities at the work place.

  • Companies are not permitted to install electronic surveillance in areas like restrooms or changing rooms.
  • Companies are supposed to stop recording calls when it is obviously known that the calls are of a personal nature.
  • All random checks of the employee’s personal belongings should be done only if necessary policies and guidelines have been made clear to the employees at the time of joining and only after their acceptance shall these types of checks shall be made.
  • A certified employment attorney should review the employee privacy policies from time to time.

 

Tips for Legal & Ethical Employee Monitoring:

 

Employers are at no doubt free to legally monitor their employees, but it should be carefully devised and decided if all these monitoring activities are really necessary.  Though there are a lot of valid reasons to conduct monitoring, the employer has to be also aware of the drawbacks in monitoring employees.  The personal relationship between the employer and employee might get affected if the monitoring activity is not carried out in a proper manner.

So here are a few tips to follow to get this employee monitoring activity done in a smooth way.

 

 

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