Privacy issues in new rules on remote work and sobriety checks
New rules on remote work and sobriety checks at the workplace will soon be adopted. Employers will be required to adopt internal regulations on remote work and a procedure for the protection of personal data when work is performed remotely. As for sobriety checks, employers will need to add sobriety check rules to work regulations and will be allowed to collect limited employee data in this respect.
Rules on remote work: Employers will need to adopt internal regulations on remote work. These will include rules on:
- groups of employees who can work remotely,
- communicating with employees working remotely,
- inspection of an employee’s work and their compliance with laws and regulations.
Rules on sobriety checks: Sobriety checks will only be allowed if necessary for the protection of health and safety of employees or other persons, or the protection of property. Employers will be allowed to collect the tested employees’ names, the date and time of testing and test results. Sobriety checks can cover alcohol and substances of similar effect.
What employers need to do concerning data protection
Remote work: Employers need to introduce a procedure for the protection of personal data when working remotely and train employees in that respect if necessary. There are no provisions on how this procedure should be formulated, but we think it may include rules concerning information (data protection) security.
Some elements of the internal regulations on remote work pertain to the privacy of employees (e.g. conducting an inspection at an employee’s place of work which is often their home), so any such rules have to be carefully considered.
Sobriety checks: Employers who introduce sobriety checks at the workplace will need to adapt privacy notices for employees to reflect the new purpose of data collection. Data retention schedules will also have to be adjusted, as test-related data may be retained for a maximum period of one year.
Entry into force: The bill amending the Labour Code is currently in the final stages of the legislative process and will likely be adopted in December or at the beginning of January. The provisions on remote work will enter into force two months after publication of the act, and the provisions on sobriety checks will enter into force 14 days after publication.