Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
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The starting point is that a company car is company property and an employer has a right to know its whereabouts. There are however certain procedures and guidelines that employers need to adhere to in order to keep within the law when undertaking such monitoring.
Firstly, employees have a basic right to privacy under the Human Rights Act. One argument is that monitoring devices fitted to vehicles affect the employees’ right to privacy and is a breach of their basic human rights.
Secondly, monitoring of vehicle movements where the vehicle is allocated to a specific driver and where information about the performance of the vehicle can be linked to a specific individual will fall within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998. As such, the tracking data is likely to amount to ‘personal data’ under data regulation principles and be subject to certain regulations. The following is guidance published by the Information Commissioners Office, which deals with data protection rights:
Employers are therefore encouraged to have a specific policy for the use of vehicle monitoring and to make employees aware of its existence. Where possible, the above principles should be applied to ensure privacy is maintained when the vehicle is used solely for private use.
Generally, the most common way of dealing with privacy issues in such circumstances is through the introduction of a specific monitoring policy and a privacy feature on the vehicle.
You are free to raise your concerns with your employer and discuss the above information, trying to reach an amicable resolution. You can either do this informally or by raising a formal grievance. Remember that you have certain rights in these situations and that your employer should act reasonably and justify their actions as far as possible.
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