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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been videotaped by a colleague at work. Is this leg

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I have been videotaped by a colleague at work. Is this legal?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What were the circumstances in which the recording was made and how would it be used?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi ben, i used to work the night shift as a nurse in a care home, i found that it did not suit me as i lost my sleep pattern, i admitted my problem at the time, that i was falling asleep, to the lead nurse, and as they could not accommodate me on the day shift, i left. I have since returned, to work on the day shift. One of the night carers has stated, to another person that she has videotaped me asleep at work, and will use the tapes against me.

regards julia

How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks for getting back!

i worked at the care home for 12 months, on nights, then left for 6 months. i returned there to work on the day shift at the beginning of February, this year.

the care home has since been bought out by another company. i think that she will try to use the videotape, to show to the new area manager, however, she could take it further and send it to the royal collage of nursing.

with thanks julia

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi ben, what further info do you require?

regards julia

Hi Julia sorry for the delay in responding, my computer packed up and have only just managed to get a replacement. Going back to your query, it is not actually illegal to record someone, whether by audio or video. I know that some people may expect there to be some privacy laws that would prevent this but that is not really the case. There have been numerous instances where someone has been recorded secretly in the workplace and this has been used as admissible evidence in court and found to be legal. In fact I have personally been involved in a case similar to yours where someone video recorded a colleague sleeping on the job and that resulted in disciplinary action being taken and it actually resulted in a dismissal. This was challenged in tribunal but it failed and at no point was it found that the initial recording was illegal in any way. So in the circumstances it is possible to be recorded even if it appears unfair.
As far as your general employment rights are concerned if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).
So in this case it is possible to be dismissed even if there was an illegal recording or for no reason at all, whether you did anything wrong or not. It is all due to your length of service where your protection is minimal in the first two years of employment.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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