16. What are the things that employers should consider before conducting work monitoring measures (e.g. telephone, video, e-mail or internet monitoring)? Can covert/secret monitoring of employees be adopted?
Employers should examine whether or not there are alternatives to these measures that they may resort to. For example, would selective/random checking, rather than continuous monitoring, be effective and sufficient for the employers' purposes? Can the monitoring measures be confined to areas of high risk? If employers plan to use CCTV, can the camera recording be only confined to selected areas instead of all areas of the company?
As a general rule, employee monitoring should be conducted in an open/overt manner. Covert monitoring (e.g. using hidden "pinhole" cameras) should not be adopted unless it is justified by the existence of special circumstances (e.g. a reasonable suspicion that an unlawful activity is about to be committed or has been committed by certain employees).
Employers who have decided to monitor employees at work should accept responsibility and be accountable for proper conduct when carrying out their monitoring activities. For example, they should develop privacy complaint measures to protect their employees.