Most incorrectly believe monitoring of personal social media and work email is illegal
New research from Broadband Genie has found public ignorance over monitoring in the workplace. Some 79% of those surveyed believed workplaces weren’t legally allowed to monitor personal social media accounts. Similarly, the opening of work mail or email (58%), recording of work phone calls (53%) and checking logs of websites (36%) were all believed to be illegal.
But sources such as Citizens Advice explain workplaces in the UK can monitor employees use of phone, internet and email if, “it relates to business, the equipment being monitored is provided partly or wholly for work, [and] the employer has made all reasonable efforts to inform the employee that communications will be monitored”.
Unsurprisingly the majority said they would be unhappy with their employer monitoring their personal phone (71%) and social media accounts (62%). Additionally, a third of people said they would be unhappy with the opening of work mail or email and 21% with the checking of website they’ve visited. It was found just under half (43%) admitted to browsing sites unrelated to work during work hours.
Karin Henson, Specialist Employment Lawyer at Lexoo, said: “Any handbook or contract needs to confirm that employees may be monitored in the workplace and there are only very particular reasons as to why employers can take steps to monitor their employees. As an example, if information came to light that an employee was off sick however had posted on social media evidence to the contrary, then the results from the monitoring could be used in disciplinary procedures.”