Essential HR

Privacy Matters – Using CCTV in the right way

Did you know that if you have CCTV recording your employees (or the environment they work in) and haven’t followed the right process in doing so, you may not be able to rely on it when you need it most? You might even be in breach of the Privacy Act.

Here is a list of important points to consider if you plan on introducing surveillance in your workplace. If you already have surveillance, please read on as there is no better time to update your policies and procedures to make sure you can rely on recordings when needed.

  • Make employees aware that their personal information is being collected, the purpose for which the information is being collected, and the intended recipients of that information;
  • Only collect information that is necessary for that lawful purpose;
  • Do not collect information by means that are unlawful, unfair, or unreasonably intrusive to the employee (in general, audio could be considered unreasonable);
  • Ensure the recordings / personal information is stored safely and securely, for no longer than is necessary;
  • Ensure employees are aware that the information is being stored and they have access to it;
  • You must have signage so employees (and visitors) know they are being recorded;
  • If you have surveillance, it does need to be in your employment agreements or policy for you to use recording for the purposes you intend;
  • Only use, or disclose, the personal information for the purposes for which it was collected – this often catches employers out when they attempt to use footage collected for health and safety or security purposes in a disciplinary process. If you try and use the information for a disciplinary but haven’t said you can use it for that purpose, it would likely be inadmissible.

If you are seeking to use covert surveillance, you may be able to in certain, very specific situations. If you want to discuss this option, we recommend you seek legal advice.  

If you are planning on installing some sort of surveillance or have it but feel, having read this blog, that you need some advice, please give us a call or click here to email us.