Workplace CCTV – what needs to be considered?
As the use of CCTV in the workplace increases it is also becoming increasingly controversial, as some feel the motivation behind it has developed from being used to promote safety and security to being used to monitor staff.
There are various valid reasons employers may install CCTV including:
- To prevent theft, violence and other crime
- To check that health and safety rules are being complied with and/or so that footage is available in the event of a specific breach
- To prevent misconduct
- To assess and improve productivity
- To ensure compliance with legal and regulatory obligations particularly in the financial services sector
During the decision making process it is important to consider employee rights and the risks involved. There are several laws which apply to the issue of workplace CCTV monitoring. These include the Human Rights Act, the Data Protection Act, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and the Lawful Business Practice Regulations. Between them, they help employers to confirm CCTV is justified and meets a particular problem.
Once an employer has made the decision install CCTV they have to make sure the employees are aware it, this is usually done by displaying signs to say where the locations of the cameras are. Workers should also be given the reason for the monitoring.
- Be clear, visible and readable
- Contain details of the purpose of the surveillance and who to contact about the scheme
- Include contact details such as website address, telephone number or e mail address
Under the Data Protection Act if the employer gives a reason for the cameras for example to prevent theft, the employer cannot then use the footage for another reason such as recording entry and exit of workers from the workplace.
Tas Kyriacou, IDS Group Head of Business Development discusses the general topic of workplace CCTV with Security Expert Online in this latest video:
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