Many workplaces already have CCTV but if you’re thinking about installing CCTV in the workplace, Alison Driver of Metis HR shares her tips to reduce concerns from employees.
There are some sound business reasons why a business owner would think about installing CCTV. For employers installing CCTV in the workplace there are some additional things to think about.
Why do employers install CCTV?
There are any number of reasons but typically they fall into three brackets
There is a Code of Practice developed by the Information Commissioner for surveillance cameras and personal information in the workplace
Do I have to tell my employees that I’m thinking about installing CCTV in the workplace?
It doesn’t matter why you’re installing the CCTV; you should inform employees of the plans as soon as possible. Ideally, you’d use a formal consultation process to get feedback from your employees. With that feedback you can amend your CCTV policies. But you can also begin to understand what people’s concerns are.
If you choose not to tell them, you’re not going to be able to use the CCTV evidence as part of any disciplinary proceedings. You could also potentially violate their right to privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998.
For employees who weren’t in your business when consultation took place you should have
Can I use CCTV to monitor employees?
If one of the reasons that you’re installing CCTV is to monitor employees, as long as you’ve made them aware of this in writing and explained the reasons why, you’re ok to go ahead.
Monitoring employees in secret is only acceptable in very rare circumstances. You should have a policy in place for this kind of covert recording. The policy should include:
What do I do if I find evidence of other misconduct during covert recording?
You shouldn’t use this evidence against any employee who you have caught by accident whilst monitoring someone else, unless it is potential gross misconduct e.g. theft. Where the misconduct is minor you should not use this ‘secret’ footage in any disciplinary action against that employee.
Are there any risks to monitoring employees with CCTV?
There are some risks, but consulting with employees before you implement CCTV will reduce the problems that you experience.
Can I use CCTV footage in a Disciplinary Hearing?
Yes, providing the Company’s Data Controller is involved. They need to ensure that nobody else views the video data, other than those involved in the Disciplinary Investigation of Hearing without good reason to do so.
Do I need a CCTV policy?
Yes, you should have a policy that sets out what you record, how long you save it, who can access images etc. If you’re thinking about installing CCTV in the workplace and would like a Metis HR template policy just message them or call on 01706 565332 and we’ll send you one right back.
Alison Driver MBA, BSc(Hons), FCMI, Chartered FCIPD is Managing Director of Metis HR. She is an HR Consultant with over 35 years of “coal face” experience of dealing with HR and employment law in the workplace.
An average HR Consultant will say that they can provide your business with HR advice. Alison Driver, on the other hand, is delivering from experience.
At the age of 24, Alison was managing 105 unionised cleaning and catering staff in the NHS. The enforced exercise of the Government’s drive for Compulsory Competitive Tendering in the NHS in 1985 resulted in Alison cutting her management teeth on making 36 employees redundant in order to successfully win the tender in-house.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. It specialises in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call now on 01706 565332 to discuss how Metis HR may help you.