Call us today 0800 470 0331

Can you monitor an Employee’s private emails?

Published on 12 September 2017 | Modified on 12 September 2017

Written by Stacey Bennett
Poole Alcock

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that employers cannot, save for in exceptional circumstances, monitor private emails communications accessed on work systems without first informing employees that such monitoring may take place.

The case in question concerned an employee sending personal emails on a work computer. The employee knew that accessing personal email accounts was forbidden when using the employer’s equipment but importantly he had not been advised that any such access to private emails would be monitored by the employer.

The moral of the story is that employees have a right to privacy in the workplace even if they are flouting workplace rules. A clear IT policy and comprehensive training can help to ensure that employees are informed about workplace monitoring, thereby avoiding costly litigation.

Related Insights

Sign up to our newsletter

apply area-criminal area-divorce area-employment area-home area-motoring area-personal arrow_downarrow-left-long arrow_leftarrow-right-long-menu arrow-right-long arrow-right asbestos-claimsbenefits-health benefits-incentive £ benefits-nursery benefits-pension blueprintbottom-wave-180 bottom-wave buildingsbusiness-services calendarcertificationcharitychat checklist clockcommercial-propertyconvey_icon_purchase_standardconvey_icon_remortgageconvey_icon_sale_purchase convey_icon_sale conveyancingcriminal-defencecrossdefencedisputesdivorce-family divorce documentsdownloaddrink-drivingeducationemail-altemail-outlineemail employmentevent-calendarfixed-fee-divorcefor-salegravelheartbeathero-wave home-searchhospitalhousehricon_laptop_add icon_purchase_standard icon_quill icon_tick icon-feather-mail icon-user input-error input-upload input-valid job-descriptionlegal-aidlitigationmap-marker map-pinmoneypersonal-injurypersonal-services phone-primary phone play pluspropertyremortgagesearch-primary searchseparationsocial-facebook social_googleplussocial_instagramsocial_linkedin_altsocial-linkedin social_pinterestlogo-twitter-glyph-32social_youtubesoldtenanttick_circle_green tick-white ticktoggle-cross traffic-accidenttreetriangle will-probatewillwrite-a-will