Home > Workplace > Telephone Monitoring at Work

Telephone Monitoring at Work

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Nov 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Telephone Monitoring Workplace

Telephone monitoring in the UK is commonplace. 31% of UK companies keep tabs on numbers dialled by their staff – and 20% don’t tell their staff that they’re being monitored. Are you in the unlucky 20%? Telephone monitoring is perfectly legal and you’ve few rights if you’re caught chatting to friends at 10am. Why, how, and when does it happen?

The History of Telephone Monitoring

Telephone monitoring has taken place for years; call centres and customer service lines are usually recorded for quality purposes. But there are cases where employers have unfairly monitored staff. An employee at Carmarthenshire College successfully sued her boss for monitoring telephone calls and email (April 2007). Some use of phone calls was ruled by the court to be reasonable under the European Convention of Human Rights. The clause cited in her case, as in many cases brought against employers, states that individuals are entitled to a private life (and correspondence). This can, however, be overturned if the employer has a good reason to monitor calls or emails.

Is my Telephone Monitered at Work?

Your telephone conversations could be routinely recorded, or the line could be tapped to produce a number log. And your employer has a right to do this – for the following purposes:

  1. To prevent crime or misuse
  2. To record a business transaction
  3. To make sure that staff act in compliance with business procedure
  4. To monitor key standards or targets
  5. To ensure quality control.

If your calls are being monitored or recorded, that doesn’t mean an employer has a right to listen to any personal calls. It’s best practice to switch off or delete any recordings which are obviously private. And don’t forget that your employer has an obligation to inform you if telephone monitoring is taking place. If you’re unsure, ask about their policy.

How am I Monitered?

Telephone calls can be monitored in one of two ways:

By a telephone recorder: UK companies offer telephone recording systems that can cover as many as 200 telephone lines.

By a system that records numbers dialled (a pen register): These usually create a list of numbers you’ve dialled, and time spent on each call. Employers have been known to contact personal numbers to find out what their staff have been up to.

Concerned ABout Telephone Monitoring?

If you’re worried about being monitored, consider the following actions:

  1. Ask your employer to clarify their privacy policy: are your phone calls monitored or recorded? Is the monitoring continual or random? Call centres often set up random call-selection.

  2. If you wear a telephone headset, your employer could be listening to more than your business calls. Make sure you mute or switch off the headset before gossiping with colleagues!

  3. Make your private calls from a mobile phone where possible. Its signal is encrypted, which prevents eavesdropping. Your employer is obliged to allow you to make occasional private calls, but it’s better to use your own telephone when you can.

  4. Don’t forget Voice Mail. Some systems retain voice messages even after the user has deleted them. Only give your work number to business contacts, and keep private messages on your mobile, protected by a PIN to render them inaccessible.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Can an employer record a personal call on a personal phone used within his office...allegedly, the office has a microphone...staff were not aware
tina - 8-Nov-15 @ 8:35 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • YourPrivacy
    Re: Protecting Your In-Car Privacy
    Leehammer - Your Question:Can my company have CCTV trained on me in my truck cab? Thank you.Our Respon
    23 February 2017
  • Leehammer
    Re: Protecting Your In-Car Privacy
    Can my company have CCTV trained on me in my truck cab? Thank you.
    22 February 2017
  • Anon22
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    A local gym class has used a video of me taking part in a class (with other people) and has put this…
    19 February 2017
  • grumpy
    Re: Your Medical Records
    so how come my motor insurers have access yo my medicalrecords and know more about my health than I do ... I've not knowingly given consent…
    18 February 2017
  • Ness
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    My previous employer terminated my full time position due to financial constraints within the company,…
    16 February 2017
  • YourPrivacy
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    Mart - Your Question:I reported staff theft to area manager. The staff member was caught three times stealing on cctv. The manager checked…
    16 February 2017
  • Mart
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    I reported staff theft to area manager. The staff member was caught three times stealing on cctv. The manager checked the first image did…
    15 February 2017
  • Mouse
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    I work in a local petrol station and I have just been told that a work colleague has recorded a conversation of me talking about my…
    13 February 2017
  • Sam
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    Hello my boss has got what j believe to be a camera fitted in the staff room /kitchen. When I asked if it was a camera she said no it's…
    4 February 2017
  • Andrew
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My Boss has monitoring software on my laptop. I was aware of the key logging software as that was installed after a previous disciplinary a…
    27 January 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the YourPrivacy website. Please read our Disclaimer.