closed circuit television

04 Apr

2013

closed circuit television

Advice

Be careful when using CCTV in disciplinary hearings

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Companies frequently rely on CCTV footage in disciplinary hearings where wrongdoing by an employee or worker is alleged.

Where companies have CCTV installed, images taken from company cameras positioned on company property can be used in any disciplinary hearing.

Provided they follow and document the procedure as detailed below:-

This process will ensure that the company complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 {DPA} the CCTV Code of Practice and other relevant legislation and demonstrate that the company has taken all steps possible to protect the personal information of anyone captured on the CCTV.

PROCEDURE

  1. Acknowledge: that the company does have CCTV installed with appropriate signage. Clearly state that the purpose of CCTV is to prevent crime and protect public safety. Remind staff that the use of CCTV in disciplinary proceedings is referred to in their Contract of Employment and their Staff Handbook.
  2. State: that the CCTV allegedly caught an employee committing a disciplinary offence {which may also be categorised as a criminal act} during the course of their employment. The CCTV footage may also show images of other staff not involved in the offence or crime.
  3. State: that the company wishes to use the CCTV footage in connection with the disciplinary proceedings against the employee.  The CCTV footage may also be available to the Police.
  4. State: that the company recognises that the CCTV images contain personal information and therefore to comply with the DPA they cannot be disclosed or released.  However, Section 35{2} of the DPA exempts the CCTV images from the non-dislosure provisions of the DPA where they are used for the purposes of, or in connection with, legal proceedings.
  5. State: that in the opinion of the company the disciplinary proceedings constitute legal proceedings, in the light of the alleged criminal activity and therefore the proposed use of the images in the disciplinary proceedings is exempt from the non-disclosure provisions of the DPA.
  6. State: that the staff member will be given the opportunity to view the CCTV images and to fully challenge and/or explain their content.
  7. State: where relevant, that the company has investigated the possibility of obscuring the images of other staff members, and whether or not this was possible.  Obscuring the identity of persons not relevant to the alleged wrongdoing should be attempted before CCTV footage is shown to the appropriate staff member.
  8. State: that the circulation of the CCTV images will be strictly limited to those attending the disciplinary hearing and that those attending the disciplinary hearing will have signed a Confidentiality Undertaking and be bound by its content.

Companies should ensure that they document the aforementioned procedure within their hearing notes before the release of the CCTV images; otherwise they will be in breach of the provisions of the DPA.

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling the above, the writer emphasises that the article is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice.

Please contact me for further details about this or any other Employment Law or Personnel matter and I will respond promptly.

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Have your say

8 responses

Andrew
Andrew

I would like to ask about who can actually view the CCTV footage?  I have had an allegation made and the only evidence that they can use is CCTV footage of a public area/front counter.  The person who reviewed the CCTV is an Assistant Manager and I find no record of him on the Information Commissioner’s Register and as far as I am aware he does not have a SIA licence.  It is within his rights to check the CCTV for evidence?

Chris Harding
Chris Harding

Hello     I have just been dismissed from my job on evidence taken from a company cctv camera the use of these in my disciplinary hearing are not in my contract or company handbook the 1st I knew of the use of this was at my final hearing when they produced it from nowhere on a company laptop after reading your curb procedures that they have to follow surely this evidence is inadmissible

Chris Harding
Chris Harding

Is the above article right as I shall quote it in my appeal hearing tomorrow as by reading this they have blatantly broken most of the data protection act concerning the use of camera recording and disciplinarys.

Mark Herbert
Mark Herbert

Myself & three colleagues have been through a disciplinary hearing (we were found not guilty )the evidence in the case was cctv footage .The footage was collected by our line manager from a monitor in a busy reception he watched it there & took notes infront people who had nothing to do with the case .Has my employer broken the data protection act

Arron Dunn
Arron Dunn

we have a camera in our control room and my employer has used cctv footage from it in an investigation hearing against me i have also checked the paperwork before hand and my manager has not signed for or requested (by filling in form) any footage whereas the police have to is this breaching my rights or breaking any law, thanks

Lisa
Lisa

Can u please answer the questions below

lisa
lisa

Sorry ...the questions above

Stephen Clark
Stephen Clark

There has been an allegation against me at work regarding miss use of plant but i dont think any of the managers have a sia licence does this mean thay should be looking at cctv?

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