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What regulations for monitoring employees?

company monitoring system

 (Photo: © Pixabay)


Reading time: 3 min

Office surveillance tempts you in many ways, but you feel a little lost in the face of the restrictions imposed by law   ? We help you to see more clearly.

The legal aspect

Supervision is, according to the law, "any activity which, by means of technical instruments, consists in the non-occasional observation, collection or recording of personal data of one or more persons, relating to behaviors, movements, communications or the use of electronic and computerized devices " .

In some cases, the employer has the right to use a monitoring system at work, but it will be necessary for the employer to inform his employees and receive the consent of  the CNPD (National Commission for Data Protection). The law prohibits any surveillance on the sole basis of the agreement of the employees.

Why monitor his employee?

To collect or verify information about the employee. But beware: any information can not be retrieved. This operation must be necessary for the proper functioning of the post and the company.

For example, it is normal to ask a bus driver if he has a driver's license, but the question is not essential for a butcher. This condition seems broad enough, and is intended primarily to protect the privacy of employees. The primary goal for the employer is to protect himself from security or health risks.

The collection of this information must also be legitimate, that is to say, be carried out within a legal framework .

Video surveillance, access control ...: which authorizes what?

CCTV is allowed but only for:

  • Ensure the safety and health of employees.
  • Protect the company's assets.
  • Control the production process of machines only.

This is the best way to collect information about employees, but it is forbidden to film in private places reserved for employees such as toilets, smoking area, kitchen ...

Control of access to the premises is possible for:

  • Ensure the safety and health of employees.
  • Protect the company's assets.

Geolocation is allowed but only for:

  • Ensure the safety and health of employees.
  • Protect the company's assets.
  • Control working hours when this is the only way possible.

It is forbidden to keep an eye on his employees permanently. Thus, the geolocation device must be able to be deactivated outside working hours.

The use of biometric systems is highly regulated and is only possible for:

  • Ensure the safety and health of employees.
  • Protect the company's assets.
  • Check the working hours.

Biometrics leaving traces, such as fingerprint recognition, is only allowed if the storage of data is decentralized, for example on a magnetic card.

Computer and phone: restrictions to follow

The monitoring of the use of computer tools can only be implemented for purposes of protecting the assets of the enterprise. Thus, the employer can control the employee's IT tools, but not his correspondence or his private files.

The recording of telephone conversations is allowed only to provide proof of a commercial transaction. However, the two correspondents must be informed of the recording of their conversation and the reason, as well as the maximum retention period of the recording. Likewise, it is necessary to allow employees to disable it for their private conversations.

The equipment of a workplace with a monitoring device involves specific rules: when installing, prefer to use a specialized companyto identify the most suitable solution for your activities.


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