Internal Call Monitoring
Can someone tell me if there are any rules about CC managers listening to personal, internal calls?
Is my manager allowed to listen to an internal personal call?
And then act on something they heard on the call?
Question asked by Annie97
Annie, You need to check your contract of employment and the companies rules with regard to telephone calls but the best rule of thumb is to assume that any calls you make using the company’s equipment whether internal or external should not be considered personal. A company generally has the right to monitor all calls made by employees using the companies telephone system. If you need to make a private call always obtain permission and make sure you don’t say anything about a colleague, situation or the company which could be considered negative or inappropriate. This applies whether you are an agent or the most senior manager. I recently heard of a case where a new Director of an Company had her calls monitored by the Compliance department, they thought they were accessing an agents calls as the xtn designation had not been changed. The Director was heard to say that the Sales Manager who reported to her was a ‘Wally’ and the Board of Directors were a bunch of ‘numpties’. Not a great start to her employment with the company.
With thanks to Janette
Annie – a strange one…. I did actually terminate an agent’s contract for a personal telephone call with a colleague which was uncovered by the Quality team, but this was because it constituted gross misconduct.
I have to say that it really does depend on the conversation and who it was with. As Janette says above, a company does generally have the right to monitor calls on their phone systems (in the same way as they can monitor Emails)and this applies to everyone.
With thanks to pennyd
If you are doing the kind of job that requires your calls to be recorded then I guess your manager can listen to those calls whether they are work related or personal
If you need to double check this it may be worth contacting Ofcom to get an idea of you legal position
With thanks to nicholson
I think that it is the Information Commissioners office that deals with this
They have a guide called “Quick Guide to the Employment Practices Code”
Section 5 deals with Monitoring at Work
Here are some extracts
If you monitor your workers by collecting or using information about them, the Data Protection Act will apply. This can happen, for example, when you video workers to detect crime, when you check telephone logs to detect excessive private use, and when you monitor e-mails or check internet use.
■ The Act doesn’t generally prevent monitoring. However, it sets out principles for the gathering and use of personal information. In short, data protection means that if monitoring has any adverse effect on workers, this must be justified by its benefit to the
employer or others.
■ The Act requires openness. Workers should be aware of the nature, extent and reasons for any monitoring unless, exceptionally, covert monitoring is justified.
Be particularly careful when monitoring communications, such as e-mails, that are clearly personal. Avoid wherever possible opening e-mails, especially those that clearly show they are private or personal. Monitor the message’s address or heading only.
■ If it is necessary to check the e-mail accounts or voice-mails of workers in their absence, make sure they are aware this will happen.
■ Where video or audio monitoring is justified, target the monitoring, where possible, at areas of particular risk, and only use it where workers wouldn’t expect much privacy.
■ Ensure that if you use information for monitoring which is held by third parties, such as credit reference or electoral roll information, you can justify this. Take particular care with any information you hold about workers as a result of non-employment dealings with them, for example where they are also your customers.
■ If you are justified in obtaining information about a worker’s criminal convictions for monitoring, only do so through a ‘disclosure’ from the Criminal Records Bureau.
■ If you monitor workers through information held by a credit reference agency, you must tell the agency what you will use the information for. Do not use a facility for carrying out credit checks on customers to monitor or vet workers.
I’m not sure if this is entirely clear, but it seems to be clear that the employer needs to be open about what they are doing.
With thanks to Jonty
I am so glad I work in holland 🙂 It is illegal here for that sort of thing to go on in any place of work including call centers. They cannot listen to any calls I make and they certainly cannot read my emails….UNLESS they have serious reason to believe that there is a need to do so and they have to prove it is a serious need and provide proof of the belief for that reason. As for camera’s, concealed or open……Never!!
With thanks to DutchBrum