Employee privacy is threatened by the increased use of
surveillance processes and new technology by employers according to a new guide
on monitoring in the workplace
Income Data Services legal guide Employee Privacy in the
Workplace claims that intensive surveillance by employers can have a
serious impact on staff motivation.
It claims that studies show the increasing use of
surveillance technology such as CCTV can lead to physical and psychological problems
such as anxiety, tension, depression and fatigue.
Another area of concern highlighted in the guide is the
monitoring of staff e-mails and employees’ use of the Internet at work.
The guide warns that granting staff widespread access to
computer facilities can also have a downside in terms of the potential for
creating legal liability and draining business resources.
The guide suggests that employers should consider drafting
workplace policies, which address these new privacy issues head-on.
It claims that if these policies are incorporated into the
employees’ contract of employment, it provides a tool for educating them about
the legal risks involved in careless use of the e-mail system and the Internet.