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Surveillance in workplace

Recently, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided in a particular case that an employer was not entitled to dismiss an employee who was conducting surveillance in the workplace, noting that the employer had failed to conduct a balancing exercise between the right to privacy and the employee’s desire to protect his confidential information.  The employee had set up a camera to monitor whether anyone had entered his office to access his computer.  However, the case was remitted to a fresh tribunal to consider whether it was fair to dismiss the employee on the basis he failed to follow a management instruction.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal also decided in this case that, if an employer is conducting disciplinary investigations into multiple employees whose cases are related, there is no need for the investigation of the employees to be “sealed off” from one another.  It further highlighted the need to ensure evidence is adduced from relevant witnesses, suggesting the employer’s failure to do so in this case may have led to the tribunal preferring the employee’s evidence over that of the employer.