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  • Helen Taylor


Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Employee Monitoring

Often a controversial topic in the workplace is worker monitoring. Employers and workers are often confused about their respective legal rights. Workers will challenge the decision to monitor because they consider it intrusive.

Employers however consider that monitoring is a legitimate business tool, which has become increasingly important given the advancement of remote working, with the nature of the business determining the level of monitoring needed. For example, to ensure operations are efficient, to protect confidential information and commercial interests or to meet regulatory obligations.

On 03 October 2023, the ICO confirmed the publication of its guidance Employment Practices and Data Protection - Monitoring Workers. The guidance, if followed, will assist employers to comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018; it even contains a useful checklist. The guidance is comprehensive, and the key theme is having a policy on monitoring that is transparent and ensures there is a lawful basis for monitoring, which can be achieved by:

  • Good Communications

    • Make workers aware of the nature, extent and reasons for monitoring.

    • Tell workers about monitoring in a way they understand.

  • Having a defined purpose

    • Have a lawful basis for processing personal data.

    • Have a clear purpose which is the least intrusive way of monitoring.

  • Having a retention policy

    • Retain only relevant data.

  • Assessing the impact

    • Impact assess the monitoring to identify how it affects workers' personal data.

So, what is next for your business?

Employers should step back and consider firstly whether or not monitoring is right for their business. If not, then the guidance will play a minimal role in the business' operations. If, however, the nature of the business dictates that monitoring is necessary, given this new guidance an audit of current contracts for work and employment, the data protection policy and any privacy notices should be undertaken to ensure they are in line with the ICO’s new guidance.

If you're not sure where to start, contact FGS’ expert solicitors today on

0808 172 93 22 or complete our quick contact form. We will be able to support you with the audit and ensure your business' documents are compliant.

This update is for general guidance only and advice should be taken in relation to a particular set of circumstances.

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