Employers want to spy on staff health app data

clock

The majority of bosses would happily examine their employees' health app data if they thought they were faking sick leave.

A survey of 619 UK business leaders found that 55% would use the chance to snoop on the technology if they could catch staff pulling a sickie.

Of the UK businesses quizzed by Astellas Pharma, 72% said they gave all or some of their employees a mobile phone.

Two thirds (63%) added that they invested in keeping their employees fit and healthy by offering: running clubs and cycle to work schemes (34%), gym memberships (21%) and healthy challenges (7%); smart watches, health apps and allowances; or by buying things to keep them fit and healthy (7%).

However, when UK bosses were asked how likely they would be to look at the health data from an employee's smart watch or health app - such as measuring how many steps they took, their heart rate and body temperature - if they called in sick, over half said they would be very or fairly likely to check the data in order to confirm that the employee was telling the truth.

Unsurprisingly, just 6% of employees would want their boss to have access to any health data generated from a mobile phone or smart watch.

Ken Jones EMEA president and chief executive officer at Astellas Pharmasaid the firm took the health and wellbeing of its employees very seriously.

"Like many of the businesses that we surveyed, we also invest significantly in our workforce to ensure they lead happy and healthy lives.

"In my experience, to have a successful business you need to have confidence and trust in your employees, confidence that they can do their job and trust that they are likely to turn up for work. We're all in no doubt that new smart health technologies and the insights they provide hold the key to improving the health of people, but at what point does smart data become intrusive surveillance? This is why a debate is needed," he added.

More on Employee Benefits

Two in three employees have poor financial wellbeing: Aviva

Two in three employees have poor financial wellbeing: Aviva

Latest research highlights staff financial concerns

John Brazier
clock 02 December 2021 • 2 min read
One in four employers 'not affected' by menopause issues

One in four employers 'not affected' by menopause issues

Absence and sickness were the leading menopause-related impacts

John Brazier
clock 01 December 2021 • 2 min read
Majority of people are not saving enough for retirement despite overestimating financial ability: Wealth at Work

Majority of people are not saving enough for retirement despite overestimating financial ability: Wealth at Work

Financial education can help employees understand value of workplace pensions

Nafeesa Zaman
clock 30 November 2021 • 1 min read

Highlights

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: All the winners revealed!

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: All the winners revealed!

Leading With Distinction

COVER
clock 03 November 2021 • 2 min read
COVER Excellence Awards 2021: The Night in Pictures

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: The Night in Pictures

A photo gallery from COVER Excellence Awards 2021, held at The Brewery, London, on 2 November.

COVER
clock 03 November 2021 • 1 min read
Gosia Bowling: The role of behavioural science in creating a menopause-friendly workplace

Gosia Bowling: The role of behavioural science in creating a menopause-friendly workplace

'The key to supporting menopausal women is creating a culture in which conversations are welcomed and expected'

Gosia Bowling
clock 02 November 2021 • 6 min read