In some cases, employers are permitted to use software to digitally monitor employees (working from home), but only if several strict conditions are met to guarantee the privacy of those employees. This was mentioned by minister Koolmees of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in a session of parliamentary questions asked by the lower house of the Dutch parliament in response to news which showed an increase in the demand for monitoring software.
The conditions which must be met in order to use monitoring software apply both when employees work from home as well as when they work in the office. The conditions stem directly from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):
- you must provide sufficient arguments to support the necessity to monitor employees and why this business interest outweighs the employees’ right to privacy;
- the employee must be informed beforehand that (s)he will be monitored and in what way(s);
- on grounds of the ‘Wet op de ondernemingsraden’ (Works Council Act), your organization’s works council must be involved in the decision-making pertaining to monitoring software, as the council must give their consent to any decisions which affect the privacy of employees.