How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70742
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I work in a pub, the owner have installed cameras everywhere

Customer Question

Hi i work in a pub, the owner have installed cameras everywhere and spys on the staff. We have meetings and the owner brings up things she has seen. All the staff are very unhappy with this as shows lack of trust what is the law on this ? I know they are used for security resons if anything happens but surely not to sit and watch us working 24 /7 ?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Nope we seen the cameras beening installed for security but didnt expect to be watched all the time
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: No theee is just 5 staff employed by them
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There is a screen in back room but they have apps on their phones too . Im sure there is no sound but some time things are said in pub and owners have picked up on without being anywhere near
Submitted: 4 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

Hi there. Can I just check, what sort of things does the owner raise during the meetings? Please can I also just check, how long have worked there for and when exactly were the camera's installed?

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
All the sataff have been therr over 2 years the new owers bought the place in December 2019 the camera went up july this year.. they raise things like too many staff on why we were in the till and the cleaner has been spyed on as her mother came to help her.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Monitoring of employees in the workplace is not uncommon and there are various reasons why an employer may wish to do so. When there is a genuine reason for monitoring employees, such as security, training, legal obligations, etc the employer would normally be justified in doing so, as long as it is conducted in an open and reasonable manner.

As far as the law is concerned, monitoring in the workplace is covered by the Data Protection Act (DPA). As such, the employer must adhere to a number of principles set out in data protection legislation, which include:

- obtaining the data fairly and lawfully

- informing employees of the types of monitoring that are being used

- using the data obtained from monitoring only for a specific purpose

- limiting the data to adequate and relevant data

- not holding the data for longer than necessary

An employee may only try and prevent the monitoring from taking place if it breaches any of the DPA principles or if it is carried out in a way that is causing or is likely to cause substantial damage or distress to them.

In addition to the above principles, the Information Commissioner's Office has published a Code on monitoring in the workplace. The Code states the following:

- If monitoring is to be justified on the basis that it is necessary to enforce the organisation’s rules and standards, these must be known and understood by workers

- The employer should set out a policy detailing under which circumstances monitoring may take place, the nature of monitoring and how information gathered from it may be used

- It is a fundamental principle of data protection that employees are aware of the monitoring taking place

- Video recording of employees will be allowed in rare circumstances, such as if they work in particularly hazardous areas or if security is a major concern. If it is carried out, prominent signs advising employees of this must be in and around the affected areas.

Covert video monitoring is even more restricted and may only take place if open monitoring is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or equivalent malpractice or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

Any concerns about the level of monitoring at work should be raised with the employer to start with, however if the matter needs to be taken further, the Information Commissioner can also be approached, as they deal with data protection issues.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 days ago.

I hope that your query has been answered to your satisfaction. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that if you needed any further clarification with this query, you should not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to help. For now, thank you for using our services.