A multinational call center based in France called Teleperformance is accused of invading its field of video cameras to monitor home office employees and their families, The Guardian writes. According to the newspaper, a number of employees there reported that the company requested biometric and medical data from its employees.
According to the unions, the company is working to push for forgiveness for workers who have been forced to work for extended periods at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and to unfairly punish those who oppose the monitoring. Most of the problems were mainly related to the treatment of workers who were outsourced to Greece or Albania.
For example, an Albanian worker working from his parents’ home intercepted video surveillance and had covered the device by the time the company fired him in a matter of days, despite being recently upgraded.
The call centre, which employs 380,000 people and is present in 34 countries, includes the UK Government’s Department of Health and Education, the Royal Navy, Vodafone, eBay and many other large multinational companies in the UK.
Back in March, the Guardian learned of a Teleperformance announcement in the UK that from this year employees working from home would be monitored via video cameras to see when they were eating, looking at their phones or leaving their offices.
According to the company, the video cameras only helped with training and conversation between colleagues, and there was no doubt about the monitoring. However, in many countries, there have been serious monitoring problems. The company’s Colombian employees work under the most stringent working conditions, communicating mostly with customers in the United States. In addition to real-time video monitoring, the company can also request biometric data as well as the results of medical examinations.
As part of the employment contract, they must agree that the company may store photos and videos of themselves and their families, as well as undergo a polygraph test.
The Greek staff of Teleperformance also requested that they have a separate area designated for silent work, which they must take care of themselves. Under the contract, all workers whose salaries exceed the country’s minimum wage must create these conditions at their own expense, including access to the Internet and electricity.
Kristi Hoffman, general secretary of the world trade union UNI, told the Guardian that this kind of home monitoring forces workers into a situation where they have to choose between their job and spying on them.
According to Teleperformance, the cameras are only used for video calls, meetings, and online training. A company spokesperson said the company complies with all local and international regulations, including privacy and security laws.
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