Blog – Video Surveillance in the workplace: the benefits to the business and protecting employee rights

CCTV cameras are commonly used to deter criminals, protect people and provide evidence in legal debates. Video Surveillance in the workplace has even increased profitability and productivity for businesses. However, the monitoring of employees comes with the uncertainty of invading their privacy and is, therefore, a controversial topic.

Why use Video Surveillance in the workplace?

  • Ensure employees are safe
  • Prevent crimes such as theft, violence and vandalism etc
  • Staff training – show employees the dos and don’ts
  • Ensure health and safety rules are being obeyed
  • In legal disputes, the CCTV footage can be used as evidence
  • Increase profitability and productivity

What should businesses consider when implementing Video Surveillance Systems?

Employers must meet the requirements on the use of data in the Data Protection Act 1988, and the rights of privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998.

  • ICO must be notified if you want to use CCTV in the workplace. The data can only be used for one reason and cannot be collected for another reason. For example, if a system was set up to monitor crime, you can’t use it to monitor the amount of work done by staff.
  • Carry out an impact assessment to outline the aim of Video Surveillance and the negative impacts it could have.
  • Create a written policy – ensures that staff know where the cameras are and provide reasons as to why the cameras are placed there.
  • Staff must be informed that they will be recorded, and the locations of cameras must be distinguished.
  • Areas of high privacy must be respected, and CCTV must not be used in these areas if it invades privacy to comply with the Human Rights Act – the right to privacy.
  • Plan how long the data will be stored, where it will be stored and who has access to it, make sure this follows the DPA.
  • Staff can make subject access requests to see recordings of themselves, the data must be provided within 40 days of receiving the request.
  • Make sure there is a written policy covering Video Surveillance usage in the work environment.
  • Mutual trust and confidence – employers must not act in a way that damages the relationship of mutual trust and confidence between themselves and employees.

The process of installing Video Surveillance in business is complex, however, if employers take into consideration the suggestions outlined above then the process should be smooth and result in a highly beneficial procurement.

The Vista team are readily available to help you with your Video Surveillance queries regarding rules and regulations. Please contact us if you would like our support or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter to keep up to date with Vista’s newest developments.