How Does Time and Location Tracking Impact Employees?

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How Does Time and Location Tracking Impact Employees?

The benefits of tracking may be easy to see to managers, employers and business owners. However, there is significant impact that tracking has on the employees and contractors that work for that business, legal and otherwise.

First and foremost, It is important to note that tracking keeps things fair. When both the employee and the employer know what information is being collected and what it’s being used for, it creates a middle ground for good relationships.

Benefits of Tracking Productivity

When both the employee and the employer know how productivity is being assessed, people feel empowered to self-manage and succeed. Measurement of productivity is essential for an efficient workforce as well as worker job satisfaction.

Tracking on Mobile Phones

Time and location tracking on mobile phones has huge benefits for employees. Having a digital record of time worked ensures that paydays go smoothly. If there are disputes, they can be resolved quickly.

Employee safety is a big takeaway from location tracking. Employees feel safe knowing that someone is keeping track as to whether they arrive at a job site or other destination. This gives piece of mind to employers as well.

Clients and customers also benefit from tracking. Location tracking ensures that employees are where they are supposed to be at the right time. Employees are also able to set a sense of how long jobs and tasks take, and can see this information to provide more accurate project estimates.

Mobile tracking is convenient. Workers are already carrying their mobile phones with them anyway, so no special equipment to bring or remember to use is needed. Employees may have concerns about battery life and personal cellular data usage however, so these concerns must be addressed when time and location tracking is set up in a business.

Legal Considerations

The legalities of employee time and location tracking are not 100% clear, which can be a little frustrating for both employees and employers.

Various laws being adopted across different regions, countries, provinces, states, etc. has led to some of this confusion. However, the situation has got a bit better in the last three years thanks to some recent legislation (outlined in the table below). In general, employers are allowed to monitor any and all employee activity. It is up to the employer to use the legislation that does exist along with best business practices to determine how tracking will work from them.

Jurisdiction Act URL for more information
Canada Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/02_05_d_15/

https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-at-work/
United States Federal Wiretapping Act/Electronic Communications Privacy Act. https://it.ojp.gov/PrivacyLiberty/authorities/statutes/1285

https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/workplace-privacy
United Kingdom Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-act-2018/
European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) https://www.eugdpr.org/

What Employers Need to Consider

  • Disclosure of what personal information the employer collects from employees, why it collects it, and what it does with it.
  • The legitimate business reasons for using GPS tracking must be outlined and communicated clearly to the employee.
  • Written consent from employees for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information is an absolute must.
  • Store any GPS-related data securely, and also ensure you tell employees how you are keeping their data safe
  • Limit monitoring of activity to work hours only. Employees have the right to privacy outside of work hours.
  • Clearly state the consequences that could lead to discipline for the employee if they disable a GPS device without the employer’s permission during work hours.
  • Only collect employee personal information that is necessary for its stated purpose, and collect it by fair and lawful means.
  • Employees should be able to access their personal information, and be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of it. They should also know who else has access to this data.

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