CCTV - Surveillance of Employees

I've recently had a couple of clients where CCTV has played an important role in determining whether or not an employee lost their job.  But this process has reminded me that there are a number of very clear legal rules around how such surveillance may be carried out.

In general, under the Privacy Act, you need to make sure that:

  • you tell employees what is happening (with warning);
  • you have a policy that covers what the information will be used for; how long kept and who has access to it;
  • Clear signage must be in place to remind anyone of the surveillance;
  • you only use it for those purposes.

Covert surveillance is generally only allowed where disclosure would defeat its purpose (e.g. to identify how thefts are taking place).

Audio recordings are generally not permitted at all.

And remember that if you intend to rely on it the employee will have a right to a copy, so be sure to know how to obtain copies!

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