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Businesses ‘must be transparent’ on use of workplace technology

Transparency is “vital” in balancing new data-gathering workplace technology with employee rights, according to a North West human resources expert.

According to Lee Jefcott, employment partner at Brabners, companies are increasingly seeking advice on the use of innovations which monitor staff performance and use of facilities and locations within office buildings.

Speaking to Move Commercial, he says: “Businesses are increasingly coming to us for advice on tracking technology, asking what they can and can’t do, and what the consequences are.

“In truth it’s a balancing act. On one hand, people have a right to privacy and, on the other, businesses are entitled to know if employees are abusing their time at work.”

Jefcott says that an employee would be within their rights to raise a grievance against their employer if they believe they’ve been intruded upon, adding: “They may even have grounds to sue for constructive dismissal if they can prove the employer’s implied duty of trust has been broken.

“Businesses need to be mindful that any information they collect falls under data protection laws. Ultimately it’s their responsibility to ensure any information is secure, gathered for reasonable and necessary aims and, most importantly, that employees are aware. Transparency is vital here.”

For more expert insight on the growing role technology is playing in workplaces, read our in-depth focus in the latest issue of Move Commercial.