New rules of surveillance at the place of work

monitoring w miejscu pracy

As of 25 May 2018 the new provisions of the Labour Code are in force, which regulate surveillance at place of work and new obligations of the employer related thereto.

Video surveillance can be used in order to ensure safety of employees, security of property, control over manufacturing process or keeping confidential information, which if disclosed could expose the employer to damage. The surveillance of emails and other types of surveillance can be used, if it is necessary to ensure such organisation of work which enables full use of working time, or proper use of work tools or equipment entrusted to the employee.

The legislator has also introduces provisions ensuring protection of personal interests, in particular confidentiality of correspondence and privacy of employees, among others by prohibiting surveillance in wash rooms, canteens, locker rooms or premises used by trade unions.

The new provisions also impose certain new obligations on the employers. This concerns first and foremost introducing to the workplace regulations (or collective bargaining agreement) provisions setting out the purpose, scope and manner of surveillance.

This obligation concerns also these employers, who are not obliged to adopt workplace regulations – such employers should address these issues in an internal announcement. Employees should be also informed two weeks in advance about planned launch date of surveillance.

Furthermore, the notification obligations extend to all new employees, as well concerns visibly designating premises in which surveillance is carried out.

The new provisions determine how long can the employer keep the records of surveillance and what should be done with them.  

The new regulation is relevant, because it specifically addresses the issue which for number of years was present in day to day practice and frequently caused practical difficulties. Simultaneously, to the large extent, the new provisions are coherent with good practices of employers concerning surveillance at the place of work.  In connection with implementation of the new regulation, the employers are obliged to update the workplace regulations or to carry out the aforementioned information obligations.

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