We have already talked about the legal aspect of employee monitoring. However, of course we didn’t cover all countries and their policies on this subject. If you didn’t find yourself on the previous list, don’t despair! In this text we’ll discuss the status of employee monitoring in other countries, predominantly in Europe.
Employee Monitoring in France
In France, there’s a very strong expectation of privacy in the workplace. Monitoring on employee emails, data and computer is limited, but it’s allowed. If you opt for software to monitor PC, you need to tell your workers about it 10 to 14 days before the installation itself. Also, all the data gathered must be gathered with their consent and if you misuse it purposes, you can be prosecuted.
Employee Tracking in Italy
Italy is kind of in the gray zone. The state allows you as an employer to conduct employee monitoring and virtually workers can’t do much about it. However, every now and then, a case of supervision of workers who weren’t aware of it is brought to court and, consequently, the owner of the company is prosecuted. So, the best bet would probably be to watch your employees computer, but with caution. As with many other countries and in accordance with ethics, always tell them about your intentions and don't hide the software from your employees.
Employee Monitoring Laws in Germany
Germany is very interesting. It turns out that until 2017, their monitoring laws were pretty much non-existing. You could freely monitor your employees, sometimes even without their consent. But in 2017 a new law has been passed, and now, restrictions are very high. Basically, you can only monitor your employees if you have a concrete suspension of criminal misconduct or, in some cases, a serious breach of duty. This means that employer monitoring of an employee's computer usage without a concrete suspension, including the use of keylogging software that records all keyboard entries made on a desktop computer, doesn’t comply with German data privacy laws. The Court may exclude evidence obtained under a breach of German data privacy laws from their proceedings.
Monitoring Employees in Spain
Spain is very straight forward. You can pretty much use all monitoring tools as long as you don't violate your employees privacy. The turning point for this topic is the trial of Pérez González v. Alcaliber S.A., when, afterwards, the Spanish court gave the green light to business owners who want to see what employees are doing on the computer.
Keep in mind though that if you gather their data and try to use it in a wrong way, you’ll be prosecuted. So, if it happens that you live in Spain, don’t attempt to treacherously enforce their lenient laws. It’s a one way street.
Employee Monitoring in Serbia/Balkans
Serbia and other Balkan countries have similar laws. Basically, your employer can use any monitoring tool without employees’ consent. Cameras, software to monitor computer activity on network, eavesdroppers and so on. But there’s a big BUT. Shared use rooms such as a cafeteria, toilet or, for example, changing rooms, must not be under video surveillance. In these situations, the employer violates the employee's privacy and could therefore be penalized.
So, if your employees have company-issued laptops they pretty much can’t do anything. You can monitor employees without telling them about it..
Keep in mind that the General Data Protection Regulation is in force in the countries of European Union, so you must be extra careful when it comes to data you’re collecting and processing.
To sum up, if you opt for employee monitoring software, be sure to check the legal aspects of it in your country. It’s a delicate thing and therefore it’s a good idea to be sure of what you’re doing. Your best option would be to talk to a legal team which specializes in labour law, as well as privacy laws.