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Free EnquiryEmployee Misconduct Claims

Watching Your Workers – How to Monitor Employee Misconduct

As an employer, you need to be sure that the staff you employ are trustworthy, respectful and dependable. ‘Employee misconduct’ is a term that covers a multitude of sins ranging from inappropriate behaviour such as bullying in the workplace to theft of company property. In short, it is any behaviour or conduct that has an adverse effect on the running of a company. While you will have had access to certain information such as an employee’s employment history, it is still impossible to absolutely guarantee their behaviour and moral fibre at all times. However, there are steps that you can take to monitor your employees and nip any unpleasant situations in the bud.

Big Brother?

When monitoring is spoken about, many people imagine hidden surveillance cameras and electronic listening devices. In modern workplaces, covert surveillance is very rarely accepted as evidence in a courtroom. Instead, it is looked upon as an infringement of an employee’s Human Rights and there have even been instances where employers have been sued for implementing these measures. Rather than trying to ‘catch out’ members of your staff, it is far better to be open about your company policy, especially where monitoring is concerned.

Being honest with your workforce from the outset cultivates respect and also ensures that the law is on your side. It is a legal requirement to explain to your staff how they are being monitored, what it is that will be monitored and your reasons for doing so. In addition, the level of surveillance and the equipment you use must be in direct proportion to the issue in hand. During situations where these methods seem to be the only option, it easy to forget that your employees have rights too. It is essential that you remember that you are legally obliged to allow your employees to have copies of any material you collect. You must also ensure that your methods do not intrude on them unnecessarily, either in professional or personal terms.

Making sure everyone’s aware of the facts

Conversely, many employees are unaware that you, as their employer, have certain obligations towards their health, safety and personal security. Explaining security measures before they are implemented allows your staff time to consider their position and come to you with any problems they might have before the security measures come into effect. This, in turn, gives you the chance to allay their fears and resolve any issues you may not have considered. You are more likely to gain the co-operation and trust of your employees if you can give them an insight into your perspective on the situation that has arisen. It may pay to remind them that, should the situation pose a compromise to their health, safety or security in any way, then you must assume a degree of liability in the event that the police become involved.

However, before you even think about installing monitoring equipment, it is vital that you are in possession of as many of the facts as possible. Only by using surveillance methods as a reasoned and intelligent response to a situation can you hope to head towards a positive resolution.

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