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Employee Investigations – The Limits to Accessing Employees’ Emails and Personal Devices

Ang Ann Liang

[2023] SAL Prac 2

When investigating employees for misconduct, a company will often try to review its employees’ emails and correspondence. More discerning employees, however, will not use their work devices if engaging in surreptitious activity. Instead, it is often the case that the incriminating evidence can only be found in the employees’ personal devices, or in their personal email accounts which are not provided by the company. What rights of access does a company have in relation to employees’ personal devices or personal email accounts? This article seeks to explore the possible factors and permutations which affect the company’s rights, with reference to recent decisions from the English courts.