Working from home has taken off in the past year. Some employers make use of employee surveillance systems, but is that allowed?
Although the measures against the spread of Covid-19 are gradually being relaxed, working from home is likely here to stay. Some employers use employee surveillance systems to keep an eye on their remote workers. Trade unions have expressed their concerns about these developments and parliamentary questions have been asked about it. Minister Koolmees has since answered these questions. A number of important points are highlighted in this article.
Trust between employer and employee is the basis for a good working relationship and this is at odds with far-reaching control, which is why it is subject to strict conditions.
The employer will have to explain properly why it is necessary to monitor employees and why it is so important that the right to privacy must give way.
The employer must inform the employees in advance that monitoring may take place. In addition, the decision to use surveillance systems must be submitted to the Works Council in advance. Pursuant to the Works Council Act, the Works Council has the right of consent concerning intended decisions of the employer that concern, in short, personnel monitoring systems.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its Implementing Act set out the main conditions for the monitoring of employees. More information can be found on the website of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (AP). If an employee has a complaint about the use of surveillance systems by the employer, he/she can report it to the AP.
It is important for employers to draw up a sound remote working policy, which may include the subject of monitoring. We are happy to help you with that.