Irish bosses use internet sites to monitor staff

Workers pulling a “sickie” were today warned bosses are using modern technology to spy on them.

Eight of out 10 employers admitted using social networking websites such as Facebook to crack down on workers faking illness to get a day off.

Canny bosses also claim they are using the internet to check up on staff suspected of slacking off during work as well as to suss out prospective employees.

Alan Price, head of employment law firm Peninsula Ireland which carried out the survey, said employers are using social networking on the web to monitor absent staff.

“Irish workers, before you update your Facebook, remember your boss knows what you’re doing,” he said.

“Irish employers are now using social networking sites as a tool to combat false sickness, and as the survey shows, it is proving a rather effective tactic.

“Employees should realise that there is a chance they are being monitored in this way and that their bosses will no longer tolerate their false absences.”

A study of small businesses last month revealed firms are losing almost €800m every year due to absenteeism.

“Irish employees should be wary when logging on to Facebook during their working day as employers are now taking a stand against those who choose to spend their day updating their Facebook profiles,” Mr Price continued.

The Peninsula survey of more than 1,600 employees and bosses, found two-thirds of workers have been disciplined for bogus sickness after employers discovered the real reason for their absence through Facebook.

It also revealed 74% of workers have been caught logging onto the website during working hours.

However, Peninsula warned employers not to base their decision to hire candidates solely on social networking profiles.

“With the planning and preparation that goes into interviews nowadays, social networking profiles are seen as a good insight into a candidate’s personality,” Mr Price said.

“Employers should be wary however as they may risk losing a potentially good employee just because they take too much notice of what is written in a Facebook profile.”

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