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1 giugno 2020 - Using social networks during working hours

it’s Monday so we’ll have breakfast together. For a good start: sit comfortably, enjoy your espresso and stay informed on the latest legal news.
Today I’m talking about using social networks during working hours. This is a topic to which particular attention must be paid, especially during this time of smart working. In fact the Italian legislation considers it as a misuse and a valid reason for dismissal, but in Europe each country has different rules.
Many people access social networks several times a day. If the connection allows it, the temptation is to do so even during working hours. But this is not correct, because it is comparable to making private phone calls during working hours for non-work related reasons.
In a recent court ruling there was a new confirmation of the principle fixed by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassazione in its ruling no. 3133 of 1 February 2019.
Spending time on social networks during working hours is a well founded ground for dismissal. Infact it has been considered a conduct that undermines the trust of the employer.
As proof of evidence it is considered sufficient the access history to the social network, since access to the personal Facebook page requires a password, with the consequence that there should be no doubt about their referability to the account holder.
Certainly the activity of monitoring and verifying of access to social media by workers during working hours is subject to the rules of the privacy regulation, the well-known GDPR. Moreover, according to Italian law, video surveillance of workers is possible only if an agreement has been signed with the trade unions, which establishes ways and times.
In the other European countries, where the GDPR still applies, the surveillance of workers to check if they have improper access to social media during working hours is regulated in various ways: in France, the Labour Code is applied by jurisprudence, in the sense that any internet connection provided by an employer is considered exclusively for professional use during working hours. Because of this, the employer can check the use of internet connections without the need for permission or notice.
In the UK, monitoring of unauthorised private access to social media in the workplace is permitted without the consent of the employees. However, the employer must demonstrate that any monitoring is proportionate and legitimate.
Limited monitoring for misuse of social networks is in principle allowed in Germany, whose courts give relevance to corporate customs, especially if there is a previous tolerance of private use of social media.
This issue clearly concerns everyone, and it would be useful if on european level uniform rules and principles were established in a future update of the GDPR.






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