The Information Commissioner points out in the Employment Practices Code that it will be rare for covert monitoring of workers to be justified. It should therefore only be used in exceptional circumstances and not in areas in which employees would generally and reasonably expect to be private.
James Bellamy, our employment law specialist comments on a recent EAT decision.
A recent EAT decision has found that covert surveillance of an employee who was regularly seen at his local squash club during working hours was deemed to be fair. The surveillance in this case was in a public place but the EAT clearly decided that it also fell within the exceptional circumstances set out in the Employment Practises Code.
What could have been at the root of that thinking was the employees fraudulent nature of his misconduct in that he was claiming to be at work whilst he was playing squash. What this case also shows is former Employees willingness to proceed with tribunal claims when caught red handed.
Despite Employers rightly thinking they are justified in their actions it is always best to take advice before dismissing.
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