Employee set up covert camera in his own office

11 Feb Employee set up covert camera in his own office

Is an employee entitled to set up a covert camera in his office without being found guilty of gross misconduct? In the case of Northbay Pelagic Limited v Anderson, yes. Mr Andersen was an employee who was suspended from duty and installed a camera in his work office. The reason for doing so, he said, was to protect the confidential information on his computer. He said that he thought that he was the only one to have a key to his office and for that reason, it would not breach the privacy or confidentiality of any other person. He was subsequently dismissed by his employer and one of the stated grounds for his dismissal was that installing a covert camera was gross misconduct. The Employment Tribunal considered that this act was not one of gross misconduct and, on appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed. It was found that the employer  failed to conduct a balancing exercise between the right to privacy and the employee’s wish to protect his confidential information. In addition the employer failed to attach any weight to the fact that the camera was set up in a room to which the employee generally had exclusive access and where there was a negligible risk that persons other than those taking entry to it would be captured on camera. Click here to read the full case.

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