McGuireWoods London’s Adam Penman provided Personnel Today with important perspectives for its July 2 story on the increased steps European Union employers must undertake in monitoring their employees’ hours.
A recent European Court of Justice decision that companies must take additional steps to ensure that workers don’t exceed a maximum work week of 48 hours could result in employers being pressured to monitor their employees’ every move, the story said.
Penman, a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, said the mandate to monitor staff movements to ensure they aren’t overworked might not always be interpreted as looking after their well-being.
“[T]here is potential for lines to be blurred between responsible welfare monitoring and abuse,” he said. And then there’s the question of monitoring method.
“If the amount of time worked is an indicator of overwork, is monitoring clocking in and out, or the time that emails are sent sufficient? Or is video surveillance or tagging really required?” he said. “Just because an employee doesn’t mind, it doesn’t mean that a line has not been crossed.”