Employers can read staff’s worktime e-mails

13 January 2016

Employers can read workers’ private messages sent via chat software and webmail accounts during working hours, judges have ruled.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) said a firm that read a worker’s Yahoo Messenger chats sent while he was at work was within its rights. There had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence).

In an appeal brought by a Romanian engineer, Bogdan Barbulescu, judges said that he had breached the company’s rules and that his employer had a right to check on his activities. However, such policies must also protect workers against unfettered snooping.

For more details click here

For the full ECtHR press release for Barbulescu v Romania (application no. 61496/08) click here

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