Monitoring of employees
The Act of 10/05/2018 for the Protection of Personal Data (J. of L. pos. 1000) came into force on 25/05/2018, introducing further revolutionary changes in terms of Polish employers and employees. It implemented specific regulations to the Labor Code, regarding the possibility of introducing a special supervision by the employer, in the form of technical means enabling image registration (monitoring) as well as the possibility of introducing by the employer of employee’s e-mail control (e-mail monitoring).
According to the amendments state above, the monitoring is to include supervision of both the workplace (i.e. also the computer, the company car) and the area around the workplace. If employer decides to introduce monitoring, he will have to demonstrate that these solutions are necessary to ensure the safety of employees or property, perchance control of the production as well as securing confidential information, which in case of being disclosed are bound to cause a risk of harm to the employer. Monitoring will not be able, as a rule, to cover sanitary facilities, cloakrooms, canteens, smoking rooms or premises shared with union organization. In addition, the recordings of image obtained in such a way can be kept by the employer for a fixed amount of time, up to 3 months since the day when recording has been made and after that period they must be destroyed, unless they are considered a proof, or the employer has received an information that they are to be considered a proof. In this case the time limit stated above shall be extended to the moment of final and valid end of the proceedings.
In regard to e-mail monitoring, its introduction will require the employer to demonstrate that it is necessary to ensure the organization of work, enabling the full use of working time and proper use of work tools made available to the employee. At the same time, e-mail monitoring can not violate the confidentiality of correspondence and other personal rights of an employee.
Importantly, according to the new regulations, the objectives, scope and method of monitoring application, including e-mail monitoring, are to be set in the collective agreement or in the work regulations or in the notice, in case if employer does not fall under collective agreement or is not obliged to adopt the work regulations. This information must be provided to the employee, in writing, before being allowed to work. The employer will also be obliged to inform employees about the implementation of monitoring, according to the procedure adopted in the workplace, no later than 2 weeks before its launch. Moreover, if the employer decides to introduce monitoring, he will be obliged to mark the room and the area monitored in a visible and legible way, using appropriate signs or sound notices, not later than one day before its launch.
The introduction of the above changes was necessary due to the fact that previously applicable regulations did not specify whether it is possible, under which conditions and by which tools, to apply employees’ monitoring.