You can monitor your employees’ internet communication

A Romanian employee has been dismissed because he used his professional messenger service to communicate with his family.

On the 12th of January, the ECHR (European Court of Human Right) validated the monitoring of the employee’s use of his professional messenger service. This judgment validated the dismissal of the employee.

The ECHR estimated that the employer had the right to monitor the use of the company’s computer. This monitoring is limited within the general framework of his right to verify the fulfilment by employees of their duties and compliance with the company’s regulations. In this case the company’s regulation banned the use of professional computer for personal purposes.

ECHR allow the employer to monitor an employee’s use of his professional messenger service.

This judgment is aligned with the French law. The law authorises the employer to open computer files indicated as personal in the employee’s professional computer. This authorisation is only applicable if the employee is present.

FPExpert‘s conclusion:

If an employer wishes to monitor the employees use of their professional computer, he must make sure that:

  1. The company’s regulation prohibits the use of professional computers for personal purposes. A written company rule or policy is advised.
  2. The monitoring of the computer is limited to verifying the fulfilment of the employee’s duties and compliance to the company’s rules.


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