Employment legislation: Bosses Beware | tutor2u Business

The spectacle of the continuing revelations of mis-deeds around FIFA could well be the gift that keeps on giving for Business teachers - I sense that there is much rich material to emerge over issues of leadership, commercial sponsorships, and the like. A comment piece in the Financial Times today - Bosses Beware: Your staff can easily record what you say - comes from reports that US authorities reportedly gave American soccer chief Chuck Blazer a recording device hidden in a key chain so that his colleagues could incriminate themselves as they chatted at the 2012 London Olympics.

You don't need a Bond-style hidden recording device to achieve this, of course; a standard mobile phone will give the same facility. ACAS report that employees frequently use phones to record meetings with their managers to use as evidence at tribunals, in particular cases leaving phones behind when they left the room to record comments made about them in their absence. While this may not be strictly allowed under the terms of their employment contract - it could be made a disciplinary offence to record meetings without permission, but it has been admitted as evidence in a number of cases - examples are given in the article, which show how careful bosses need to be about comments they may make, whether in the employee's hearing or not. As the article notes, some companies use new technology to monitor their staff, either to collect "health data" or to check on their productivity. Many more monitor the online behaviour of their customers. Everyone's privacy is intruded on today, and managers are not excluded from this.

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