Legal Updates

Data Protection: Employment Practices Data Protection Code - Workplace Monitoring

The Information Commissioner has published the Employment Practices Data Protection Code ("Code"), providing guidance to employers on how to deal with data protection issues affecting their employees.

  • Employers should comply with the Code if they carry out any workplace monitoring. There is no single definition of monitoring but it might include activities such as taping phone calls for training purposes or checking workers' e-mails and internet use when accessing pornographic websites. As an immediate response to the Code, employers should conduct an audit of their monitoring activities, followed by an impact assessment to assess whether their monitoring is lawful under the Data Protection Act. An impact assessment involves the following steps: Identifying the purpose(s) of monitoring and the benefits it's likely to deliver;
  • Identifying any likely adverse impact;
  • Considering alternatives to monitoring or less intrusive ways in which it could be carried out;
  • Taking into account obligations that arise from monitoring such as notifying workers about monitoring arrangements, keeping the information gathered secure and the implications of individuals' rights to access copies of information collected through monitoring;
  • Judging whether monitoring is justified when weighing up the benefits against any adverse impact; and
  • Employers should also double-check that workers are aware of the nature, extent and reasons for any monitoring, unless covert monitoring (i.e. without workers' knowledge) can be justified.


If you require further information contact us.

Email: enquiries@rtcoopers.com

© RT COOPERS, 2005. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

 

 

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