Whether you are an employer or you work for one, understanding an employee’s rights to privacy is important. This will help you to foster a working environment that is characterised by mutual respect, will improve moral, and will also allow you to avoid any unwanted legal complications between you and your employees.
If you are an employee, knowing these rights and exercising them will ensure that you are treated with the dignity that you deserve.
The Right not to have your Person or Home Searched
Employers may not search an employee’s home or person for any reasons unless it can be proven that the employee has given them express permission to do so. This means that employers need to ask permission and receive it in writing or any other recordable format.
Where an employer can prove that such a breach has been conducted with full justification and permission, however, it can be legally done.
The Right Not to Have Your Property Searched or Seized
No employee may search or seize an employee’s personal property such as phones or bags, for any reason. This is a direct breach of the employee’s rights to privacy, and can incur serous legal implications for the business.
The Right to Privacy of Communication
Any communication conducted over the employee’s own devices (phones, emails, etc) may not be monitored for any reason without that person’s permission and a justifiable reason.
If, however, the employer wishes to monitor communications on their own infrastructure (such as work emails or office phones), the employer will not need the express permission of the employee.
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