European employees may find themselves under scrutiny during work hours following a recent ruling that allows companies to monitor workers online communications.
The ruling was made by the European court of human right (ECHR) in a case about a Romanian engineer who was fired for communicating with personal contacts such as his brother and fiancée during working hours.
The engineer argued that his employer violated his right to confidential correspondence by accessing his private messages.
However, the judges found in favour of his company stating it was not “unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during work hours”.
Transcripts of the engineers communications were also used in court as evidence that he used his company computer for personal reasons, something that is prohibited by company policy.
The ECHR’s judgements are binding in all European countries which have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights.