Being monitored at work: workers' rights

Email, CCTV and other monitoring

Employers must explain the amount of monitoring clearly in the staff handbook or contract. They should tell workers:

  • if they’re being monitored
  • what counts as a reasonable number of personal emails and phone calls
  • if personal emails and calls are not allowed

Examples of monitoring could include:

  • looking at which websites workers have visited
  • CCTV in the building
  • checking workers’ bags as they leave

Employers are not allowed to monitor workers everywhere (not in the toilet, for example). If they don’t respect this they could be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Read the advice on workplace disputes or talk to Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), Citizens Advice for more advice. Workers can also contact their trade union representative.