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Calls for stronger regulations on the electronic monitoring of homeworkers

According to a recent survey conducted by the trade union ‘Prospect’, 32% of employers monitor their employees who work from home, and this figure rises to 48% in relation to the monitoring of employees aged 18 to 34. The poll also showed that since April 2021, the number of employers who use cameras to monitor their employees working from home has increased from 5% to 13%.

Prospect are calling for stronger regulations to be put in place to regulate employers who use technology to monitor their employees. Prospect has also stated it should be illegal for employers to monitor their employees through webcams, except in situations where there may be calls and meetings.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently held a consultation to seek views on introducing new guidance on data protection, which will replace the current Employment Practices Code. The ICO advises that if employers want to use technology to monitor the work of their staff members, they should ensure their staff are firstly aware of the monitoring and are clearly informed of the reasons for this happening. The ICO also encourages employers to consider if there are less intrusive alternatives to electronic monitoring, such as catch-up calls or email correspondence.