Call centre worker hits out at work-from-home monitoring

April 20, 2021

Players in the business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry have been monitoring the actions of their employees who now work from home, but some workers feel their privacy is being invaded. One agent recently took to social media to complain about the practice, describing it as "disturbing and invasive".

However, Gloria Henry, president of Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSJA), the umbrella organisation for the BPO companies, said the monitoring of employees is for security reasons. Henry said the cameras have not been installed in homes, but rather the employees' work devices such as the desktop computers to allow their employers to monitor what transpires during work hours.

"The set up is to ensure that there is security compliance, just as how a bank would have to ensure that there is no security breach or risk in the conduct of their business it is the same," she told THE STAR. "Some employees are handling transactions on behalf of third party customers and the company needs to safeguard the integrity of the work being done."

"We have had issues of scamming coming up so we can't turn a blind eye towards that. It is something on our radar and should be on the radar and security protocols of any company," she added.

Jamaica currently has about 90 BPO operators employing some 40,000 workers. Vast numbers of these persons are allowed to work from home under special permission that has been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bert Samuels, a prominent attorney-at-law, said he doesn't view the move by the BPO's to be invasive.

"It is my view that if the employers want to monitor their employees it is not unreasonable because they are on the employers' time, and they have to keep up with what is transpiring in their business. On the face of it, it seems invasive, but looking at it from the perspective of the new norm, it may not offend the right to privacy," Samuels told THE STAR.

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