Even though employees use work emails and you have a good email policy, doesn’t mean you can freely root around inboxes.
Whether you’re accessing an inbox when an employee’s absent, in an emergency or to investigate, here’s what you need to know.
Employee’s have the right to put their trust and confidence in you as their employer. Snooping at emails without proper cause, will breach that trust and confidence, data protection laws, right to a private life and could give rise to constructive dismissal claims (and possibly discrimination claims). So only access inboxes with good reason.
Before you open an inbox, ensure you’ve carried out an impact assessment to show:
- the reasons for the access
- there isn’t another way to secure the information
- you’ve limited the search to particular terms
- that any data found will be kept secure, not needlessly shared and deleted appropriately.
If someone is absent and you need to look at their emails, ensure that you limit the view to subject headings only and open only those which appear relevant.
As ever, a policy setting out when you may access inboxes, identifying whether personal use of work email is permitted and the need to mark personal emails as private is a must!
You can access our impact assessment template through the Intelligent Employment platform. If you don’t have access and want to know how it will benefit your business, get in touch!