The Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which is the UK's data protection watchdog charged with enforcing laws that regulate communications, networking and data protection, has opened a consultation on draft Guidelines for employers on who monitor staff. We were asked about this very subject only this week by one of our client firms. The consultation closes on 11th January 2023.
The guidance discusses monitoring at work and data protection. It is primarily aimed at employers. The first part of this guidance explains your legal obligations if your organisation is considering or is already carrying out monitoring of workers. The second part addresses specific kinds of monitoring.
The guidance provides clarity and practical advice to help employers who are monitoring workers to comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). The UK GDPR and the DPA 2018 do not prevent an employer from monitoring workers, but they must do any monitoring in a way which is compliant with data protection legislation. Public authorities and all bodies performing public functions should also consider the right to respect for a private and family life enshrined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998. This is increasingly important due to the rise of homeworking. Workers’ expectation of privacy are likely to be significantly greater at home than in the workplace and the risks of capturing family and private life information are higher.
Here is a link to the draft guidelines: https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/consultations/4021868/draft-monitoring-at-work-20221011.pdf
If you want to ask more about this or anything else about data protection, assistance with a subject access request or a review of your data protection policies & procedures, we can help. We have an expert in this area who will be happy to talk with you. We also hire him out by the hour as an external Data Protection Officer (DPO), saving you the cost of having to hire someone full time for that role when you don't yet need that. https://www.hunningsconsultancy.co.uk/gdpr-support