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Google searches highlight employee concerns at work

12 February 2018

Google searches highlight employee concerns at workAn investigation into what employees search for online has thrown new light onto the way employers treat their staff.

Data gathered by First4lawyers has revealed some worrying search terms that employees are using on Google to get information about their rights.

The employment law experts entered simple phrases such as "can my boss", "can my manager" and "is my boss allowed to" into the Google search engine to discover the questions most associated with these search queries.

Auto-complete suggestions indicated that the most common queries included:

  • Can my boss tell me to wear make-up?
  • Can my boss tell me what to wear?
  • Is my boss allowed to swear at me?
  • Is my boss allowed to keep my tips?

The queries suggest that many employees feel they are being treated badly in the workplace - "can my boss withhold my pay?" was one common search term; another was "can my manager change my schedule without notice?".

Some of the queries were innocent - such as whether bosses can sign a passport application. However, many were specific questions about employment rights, even including "can my boss come to my house?", "is my boss allowed to read my emails?" and "can my boss record me at work?".

Andrew Cullwick, spokesperson for First4Lawyers, said: "One of the worst situations anyone can face in life is being unhappy in the workplace - especially when it is a result of working for an inappropriate employer. We would advise anyone in a difficult workplace situation to make sure they are fully aware of their rights and to inform your HR department for any misconduct. Alternatively speak to your solicitor who can advise you on the action you can take."

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