Can an employer monitor employees off-premises or during activities not in course of their employment? Can they fix what people can do in their day to day life and activities in any way? For example, an employer dictating what brand of products may be used in the employees' day to day non-working life.

  • It might alsso be denia of employment or promotion to people who wrote something in past or do something irrelivant with job in day to day llife . May 25, 2021 at 15:28
  • Employers were allowed to do so under the traditional English common law doctrine of employment at will. I do not know the extent to which India has modified the common law in that regard. Most U.S. states follow the common law rule (but not Colorado or Montana), but most commonwealth countries (e.g. Canada and Australia and England) have modified that part of the common law by statute.
    – ohwilleke
    May 25, 2021 at 17:34

2 Answers 2



An employer can require their employees to obey lawful and reasonable directions. In this conduct a reasonable direction is one which would prevent a significant adverse effect to the employer and is a reasonable imposition on the employee given their role in the organisation.

Even without a specific instruction, an employee owes a duty to their employer to not damage their reputation.

For example:

  1. McDonald’s can require their staff not to frequent KFC while in uniform.

  2. Celebrities who are brand ambassadors can be prohibited from using conflicting brands.

  3. A church leader could be prohibited from extra-marital affairs.

  4. General limits on social media so as not to reflect the employer in a poor light.


I know that some German banks didn’t allow employees to have loans or mortgages with other banks, presumably for security reasons - you don’t want other banks to be able to put pressure on your employee who has problems repaying a mortgage. On the other hand, these banks had much more generous terms for employees, so this wasn’t a problem; employees actually saved money this way.

There was an interesting case in the UK: If you claim you are ill, so you can’t work and the employer still has to pay you, the employer has the right to check that you are telling the truth. What made it interesting was that the case was about a police officer who claimed to be injured. And while the police wouldn’t be allowed to check on a random citizen, they are allowed to do this if they are the employer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .