Employment Law against Human Rights Act – The Saga of CCTV cameras


It is not surprising that many UK has more CCTV cameras per person than anywhere else in the world; leading human rights lawyers warn that the almost constant use in our daily lives raises data protection and broader privacy concerns, since they can be used in aggressive ways.

But what are the limits? In the workplace, employers are allowed to monitor employees in so far as it is necessary and proportionate grounds management. CCTV surveillance is often attacked by security and is widely viewed as reasonable. It says that employees naturally encouraging reassurance from the employer that they are using CCTV responsibility.

Office (ICO) information magistrate first published CCTV Data Protection Code of Practice in 2000 to help CCTV operators in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and follow good practice

The Code of Practice: . Monitoring in the workplace with instructions on how to avoid employees to call lawyers of breaching the provisions of the DPA. The Code provides that before such regulation is introduced an assessment should be carried out to determine what (if any) control is justified by the benefits of monitoring. Under the DPA, all CCTV monitoring should usually be open and supported by satisfying reasons.

The assessment should consider targeting control only in special risk, limit it to areas where people’s expectations of privacy was low with video and audio surveillance in particular – cases in which use both to justify be rare. Its operation should only be considered if necessary rather than steady – though constant monitoring may be justified where security is at risk. Finally, whether similar benefits can be obtained by less intrusive methods and any adverse effects it may have on employees.

We estimate it is advisable for the employer to consult trade union / employee representatives.

If control is introduced to enforce certain rules and standards, the employer must ensure that employees are aware of and understand.

According to one lawyer employment , the use of CCTV to monitor the actions of employees may be affected for the purposes of the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). If control is excessive, the consequences can be different depending on whether the employer is public or private, or individual.

if the employer is a private organization or company, the direct reliance on the HRA is not possible. Nevertheless, all contracts of employment contain an implied term that employers will not – without reasonable and proper issues – behave in a manner likely to destroy or damage the relationship of confidence between themselves and employees. Yet it is doubtful that the CCTV camera in the obvious places of work would violate this implicit time.

On the other hand, employers in the public body has a duty to respect workers rights to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (as set HRA). However, this right is a qualified right, which means that it can interfere with a legitimate purpose in accordance with the law and is necessary in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of rights and freedoms of others. The intervention must be proportionate to achieve its goal. Examples of excessive use can probably be where cameras are installed in toilets or changing rooms.

Ultimately, it should be noted that despite the elements described is very little scope to prevent employers making recordings. Location and retention footage will be in accordance with the rules under DPA. Since this is a relatively recent developments in the law, there are very few decided cases (the DPA does not apply to private individuals or household purposes).

Aid workers come from either express concerns directly to the employer that is the easiest way to resolve the situation or from the union if the employee is a member.

What personal information should be stored securely. Also take into account that which is captured on CCTV will have a right of access to the footage under the DPA.


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