Employee location tracking

Employee location tracking: is it legal to use GPS tracking apps during working hours?

Not all field employees approve of real-time location tracking during the workday and even call it illegal. Let’s break down in detail whether or not it is acceptable to track your field staff, whether you need to draw up any paperwork to do so, and how to get your team on board with the new tool.

Staff location tracking from a legal standpoint

The Labor Code makes no explicit references to employee location monitoring using special software. However, one can be guided by the proposition that GPS tracking takes place within the scope of the employment activities that imply progress tracking on the part of the employer.

Legally, the employer is entitled to monitor the actual hours worked and oversee the fulfillment of duties by the staff.

And this is exactly what our mobile app has been designed to do. Mobile workforce management solution acts as a tool that performs the functions of a manager.

How to prepare for employee location tracking

Since the implementation of the new tool does not involve any new tasks for the employee, there is no need to make changes to the employment contract or internal documents.

To avoid any unforeseen situations, it is advisable to get the team’s consent to proceed with the use of staff location tracking software. Our mobile app manual provides a special field for a signature to confirm that the employee has reviewed the document. This should suffice to start using the new tool.

Paperwork for corporate GPS tracking software

If you are planning on expressly inscribing the use of a GPS tracker app in your internal documents, use our checklist. It contains all the documents and data you will need to outline.

Firstly, in your local document (for instance, internal company regulations) state the use of a GPS system on corporate or personal devices: smartphones or tablets. Point out that this is necessary for staff location tracking during the workday. Don’t forget to add a clause stating that the GPS tracker must remain on during business hours.

Secondly, appoint an employee in writing that will be responsible for collection and processing of location details. This could be an immediate manager, supervisor or a human resources officer. Naturally, if the team takes advantage of not just the GPS tracking, but all of the other features the mobile app has to offer, it is normally the immediate manager that monitors the staff location.

Thirdly, make changes associated with the new tool to the provision on personal data. As a rule, these include:

  • information that a GPS tracker is employed in work activities,
  • procedures for information processing (collection, storage, and use),
  • purpose of using the tool,
  • information retention period,
  • details as to whether the information is passed on to third parties,
  • how the information is protected,
  • employees responsible for information collection and processing.

Fourthly, draw up a disclosure form that you will use to notify employees of location tracking. Make sure to include therein the names of the acts and the details of the decrees that approved them.

“We also recommend making the appropriate changes to the employment contracts, noting that the software is used for the purpose of fulfilling work commitments and is equipped with a location tracker (specify its features), which must be on throughout the working hours,” recommends Ella Frost, legal consultant.

Once all these steps are completed, you can start monitoring the location of your employees using GPS in our mobile app.

How to present the new tool to the team

The two main objectives of the B2Field app are to improve supervision “in the fields” and to help employees do their job well. Share with your team how the new tool will benefit the overall performance. The mobile app will become their full-blown assistant when working in the fields:

  • A handy planner. Information about all workflows is stored on a smartphone or a tablet: tasks for the day, optimal routes to locations, and client details.
  • Online information sharing. All the documents needed are readily accessible to the employee at any time (invoices, presentations, instructions), whereas mobile forms make it easy to transfer data to the office and avoid paper reporting.
  • Time and mileage records. The software automatically records the time and place of task completion, travel time, and duration of trips, which means that reporting and reimbursement of transportation costs will be much more transparent and straightforward.

Additional benefits for the staff

Employees who have installed the mobile app on their personal smartphones often ask if it tracks their location on their own time or monitors the use of other apps. The answer is a definite no: there is no supervision outside working hours. For this purpose, the app features:

  • Schedule. The B2Field app comes with a basic feature — a schedule, which the employee can adjust in accordance with their current work schedule. At lunchtime and at the end of the workday the B2Field tracker will switch off on its own and won’t track the employee’s location, and then it will resume automatically.
  • Manual control. When an employee ends their workday early or asks for time off, they can manually disable GPS tracking. This will be automatically entered in their time report.

This way, the employer doesn’t invade employees’ personal space or control anything other than work processes. B2Field’s main goal is to improve the field team’s efficiency, so the service does not use any technology to “secretly” collect data.

Employee location tracking with B2Field

To sum up: as per the Labor Code, staff location tracking during business hours using GPS devices is allowed. However, the employer needs to explain to the employees how the information on their location is being collected and used. This will allow for smoother workflows and more accurate expense tracking, including fuel compensation.

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