With the digital revolution, one of the most important assets an organisation has is its data. More and more, emphasis is being placed on organisations to keep track of their data to monitor and improve efficiencies in their business.
It is no secret that good data allows organisations to establish baselines, benchmarks, and goals that assist the business to keep moving forward. This is because, with data, you can analyse the input and output of the business, which in turn helps set benchmarks and performance goals. Only through measuring the time and effort put in place can we know if we are charging right and whether the firm has enough manpower to run effectively.
However, with this data monitoring and collection, stakeholders may question the employee’s privacy. Furthermore, how far can an employer monitor and collect this essential data? Do employers have to monitor every second an employee takes when they clock in until the end of the day? What can be observed and measured? What role will remote working have in the monitoring of the necessary data?
At the recent ELA event held by ALN Kenya in conjunction with the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), several discussions helped to touch on some of the issues that should be at the forefront of employers’ minds with regard to monitoring employees’ activities during office hours and how to track their productivity effectively. Other considerations included the effect of the new phenomena, “remote working”, and flexible working conditions. Further, several countries now have data protection laws that should be complied with.
Can an Employer Monitor Employees’ Internet and Email Activity
Email monitoring is one of the most critical steps toward cyber hygiene to protect organisations from any unwanted event due to malicious activity from inside or outside. The European Court of Human Rights in Barbulescu v Romania dealt with the issue of whether the right to respect private life and correspondence is breached if an employer monitors an employee’s personal communications at work. It was decided that employees hold the right to respect for privacy in the workplace. If an employer intends to monitor an employee’s emails, the employer must, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, tell the employee they are doing so.
Conducting Employee Background Checks
More than 34 percent of businesses worldwide are affected by internal cybersecurity threats. The threats have increased to 47 percent over the last two years.
Digitisation and interconnectivity have altered the way we handle and store information. Most companies secure their sensitive data on in-house servers that are accessible to select employees, many of whom have remote access to this information.
This means they can access highly private information anytime and anywhere as long as they have an active internet connection. It is increasing the potential for various security breaches that can have appalling effects on the company and its reputation. The need for background checks has never been greater.