Employment lawyers at law firm Aaron & Partners LLP have developed a policy that aims to protect companies from falling foul of data protection and privacy laws when using vehicle tracking systems.
The policy also helps to protect employees whose personal data may be used against them during disciplinary procedures.
It comes as the Information Commissioner reports seeing a rise in complaints relating to the monitoring of employees.
Vehicle tracking systems have become increasingly popular with companies that operate one or more vehicles.
The systems enable a company to collect data on the vehicle’s use, including location, the time the ignition was switched on and the driver’s behaviour in terms of how the vehicle has been driven.
However, Chester-based Aaron & Partners believes that many employers do not realise that they need to make their employees aware that their company vehicle is being monitored or risk legal action.
This could occur if an employee is accused of misuse of a company vehicle and has been unaware that the data was being gathered.
Catherine Kerr one of the firm’s employment specialists who developed the policy, said: “Data or information from the vehicle has been allocated to a particular employee. Without a proper vehicle tracking policy in place arguably employers could be in breach of data protection and privacy laws if they seek to use any data or information gathered from the tracking system.
“As it is not a legal obligation for an employer to install vehicle tracking systems, it is even more important for employers to have a policy in this regard. We envisage these policies becoming standard for all such companies in the near future.”
Kerr stressed hat implementing a vehicle tracking policy has a number of benefits for both the company and its employees. It also provides the necessary protection and minimises the risk of potential claims that could be brought by employees in relation to monitoring, privacy and handling of personal data.
The vehicle tracking policy costs £250 plus VAT, but is available at a reduced rate of £200 plus VAT for anyone who gets a policy before April 30, 2013.