New research commissioned by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has identified that one in five UK adults believe they have been under surveillance by their employer, with employee monitoring surveillance increasing during the pandemic. The survey asked people if they believed they were being tracked in any way, such as monitoring timekeeping, internet activity, or recording audio or video. The most common practice was tracking timekeeping and access, followed by monitoring emails and calls. The majority of respondents found monitoring to be intrusive, with younger generations being less likely to hold this view.
The ICO published details of the survey alongside new guidance for employers on workplace monitoring.
The employment practices and data protection monitoring workers' guidance is intended to provide greater regulatory certainty, protect workers' data protection rights and help employers build trust with employees, customers and service users. The guidance emphasises that workplace monitoring should be necessary, proportionate, and respectful. The ICO also highlights that excessive tracking is associated with higher staff turnover rates and can lead to resistance and counterproductive outcomes.
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