Raymond Doherty 17 Aug 2018 04:33pm

Workers worry bosses are snooping on social media

A third of UK employees think their social media activity outside of work is being monitored by their bosses

Three-quarters argue that such monitoring should be banned, according to a new study form the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The research also found that around two thirds of employees think that increased surveillance in the workplace through technology will fuel “distrust and discrimination”.

The in-work surveillance cited by the TUC report includes: monitoring internet use; location tracking by handheld or wearable devices; recording time away from work tasks, such as timing toilet breaks; and the use of facial recognition software to assess workers’ moods.

In addition, 70% think that this type of monitoring is set to increase. The vast majority of those surveyed (79%) argue that employers should be legally required to consult employees and reach an agreement before using surveillance.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said these actions create fear and distrust and undermine morale.

“New technologies should not be used to whittle away our right to privacy, even when we’re at work. Employers should discuss and agree workplace monitoring policies with their workforces - not impose them upon them,” added O’Grady.

"Unions can negotiate agreements that safeguard workers’ privacy while still making sure the job gets done. But the law needs to change too, so that workers are better protected against excessive and intrusive surveillance.”

The TUC is calling for tougher enforcement of agreements and stronger rules on unfair dismissal to protect workers.