The monitoring of an employee's email, phone and internet use by a Welsh college was a breach of her human rights, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The UK Government must pay £3,000 damages and legal costs in the case. Lynette Copland said her email traffic, internet activity, and telephone usage were all monitored …
Monitoring telephone and email
If an employee is using his or her employer's telephone for private calls without permission, it is theft. Use of the employer's computer for personal purposes during paid working hours is also theft. Therefore an employer to my mind has a perfect right to monitor the use of facilities since if the employee is behaving honestly, only business communication will be found. Human rights do not cancel out human responsibility.
This does seem to be an odd decision - work is work. At the very least, if the employer regards there being a problem and has informed the person through disciplinary procedures that their traffic will be monitored, then that should be enough. Every now and again, everyone uses the works phone or computer for non-work business, and this should be recognised and allowed, but what this woman was doing seems like abuse, and she should not have been rewarded for it.
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