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How to monitor employees

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The government wants to reschedule video surveillance in the workplace. Secret shots should be banned. Nevertheless, trade unionists are appalled. How much curiosity do bosses have to put up with?After years of strife over rules against the control of workers in the workplace, the coalition now basically ban secret video recordings. However, open surveillance should be facilitated .

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Employees tracking s is a difficult field in legal terms. One thing is clear: Quarrels surrounding the privacy of employees - such as the control of e-mail traffic - regularly employ the labor lawyers of the republic. In doing so, employers usually justify such actions with quality assurance or the economic interests of the company. But not infrequently they also tried to get rid of more or less subtle monitoring mechanisms of disliked employees, says Wolfgang H. Müller, labor law expert of the law firm Pfalzgraf and colleagues from Augsburg. "In the past there were false expense reports - in the Internet age, it is precisely the private e-mail traffic, which serves as talking points."

What is the purpose of monitoring at work?

From the described reports it is clear: Employees are monitored for a variety of reasons .

  • Some companies want to make sure that workers actually their work to comply with and not extend their breaks over charge.

  • Others aim to determine the exact location of their employees , which is particularly interesting for field staff. But ill employees can also be tracked down.

  • In certain companies, theft of company property is a big issue. Why stocks are dwindling can also be found out by monitoring employees.

  • Is the employee actually using the Internet connection provided for official purposes only, or is he reading the newspaper daily instead of working? This can also be researched by employee monitoring.

  • And finally, especially in service occupations, the quality of advice is usually highly relevant. How friendly and competent the customer is dealt with is the focus of many a surveillance.

What forms of employee monitoring are there?

Monitoring at work: Do employees take longer breaks than allowed?

Monitoring at work: Do employees take longer breaks than allowed?

The behavior of workers can be spied on in very different ways . Companies and commissioned detective agencies usually resort to the technical possibilities.

After all, cameras and microphones have become smaller and smaller in recent years, making them harder to recognize .A classic, which often does not lack in employee monitoring , is the good old observation - also called observation . By deliberately looking and tacking on the heels, it is possible to convict some workers or long-fingers who have been reported as incapacitated for work .

Video surveillance - is that right?

A particularly efficient way of employee monitoring is the recording of events in the office or storerooms. After all, no person must be hired, which follows employees at every turn. The cameras also keep track of who did what with whom in the monitored area and when.

There must be a distinction between:

public and obvious video surveillance , with cameras visible to all and covert recording by virtually invisible devices , Watching employees via camera surveillance allows the law in Germany only under very specific circumstances , because: By recording the privacy of the monitored is significantly affected and possibly even impaired.In Germany, privacy is a big issue . Basically, in rooms that are open to the public , ie where not only employees are working, surveillance by video camera may take place if the employer can prove a legitimate interest in it and at the same time there are no milder means .If an employer suspects that an employee has been guilty of misconduct or has committed a criminal offense , under the same conditions, but only briefly and exceptionally, a covert video surveillance may be carried out. Certain rooms are always exempt from employee monitoring . It refers to:

  • The toilets

  • Locker rooms

  • dormitories

  • the sanitary facilities

The GPS monitoring in the workplace

Employees can also be monitored via GPS. So the exact location can be determined.

Employees can also be monitored via GPS. So the exact location can be determined.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a really useful technique in many ways. It locates athletes and cuts with which way they have covered, motorists can orient themselves thanks to GPS-based navigation devices in unknown places and always find the right path. These advantages have already been registered by employers and are used, among other things, to optimize the delivery of goods over time.

But may an employer monitor his employees like that? After all, all the paths covered are so immediately comprehensible . The Federal Data Protection Act regards information that connects people and locations as personal data . These are subject to special legal protection , since a movement profile could possibly be created from this.

Control at the workplace - listening to employees

As is always the case in employee monitoring: the employee must give his consent or a law must approve the desired measures . Only then is your boss allowed to start monitoring - both in terms of content and metadata (ie when the call went in or out, how long it took, etc.). If employers want to monitor phone usage, they face fewer hurdles in capturing and storing metadata than evaluating the content of the conversation.

Because: In principle, telephone conversations are subject to the confidentiality of the word. Your boss may therefore be prohibited to eavesdrop on you or to record the spoken word.Whether, as an employee, you have to reckon with monitoring your telephone conversations is, among other things, apparent from the terms in your employment contract . If you are allowed to use the work phone for private purposes, you do not have to expect a listener to talk to your partner or children. But you should not make fullest privilege: Who frequently and extensively on the phone and it neglects his work must expect an extraordinary notice to get served .

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