Employers urged to use surveillance with caution

surveillance-camera

Frustrating, isn’t it? As an employer, you naturally expect to be able to control things within the workplace but then some clever legal judgment leaves you questioning what you thought you knew.

Such an example is surveillance in the workplace.

You put up cameras so you can catch a thief red-handed. You don’t tell your staff because that would be stupid and defeat the aim of the exercise. You get great evidence and can rely upon it in defence of your position, right?

Wrong.

The case

In the recent European Court of Human Rights case of Lopez Ribalda & Others v Spain, those found stealing from a supermarket claimed that their human rights had been breached by only being told of the whereabouts of visible cameras.

Their actions, having been caught on hidden cameras, meant that their privacy had been breached and, with it, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The solution

Employers need to operate a policy which explicitly advises the employee of covert monitoring and how that data will be processed. This becomes even more important from 25 May this year (helpful hint: if you don’t know why sign up for the next HR Hot Topics).

Thankfully we’ve got a policy for you which will do the trick. Please contact a member of our Employment Law team if you feel that this might be of use in your organisation or if you have any other employment issue.

Back to index