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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75115
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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An employee at a warehouse in Staffordshire. I just want to

Customer Question

Hi Pearl. My name is***** an employee at a warehouse in Staffordshire.
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I just want to know the rules on staff searches, so I can pass them on to my colleagues.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Not many because I don’t know the rules. I have worked out that car searches are illegal unless there is a reasonable suspicion that someone has been upto no good.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so. I just know we’re an honest lot. And that we’ll as though these actions are intrusive.
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 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 16 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with general information, which hopefully will still be useful to you. Employers have the right to have a search policy in the workplace, which allows them to request that employees consent to being searched.

In fact, it is not illegal to search a car, even if there is no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. That may eb the case if the police are involved, but there are no such rules foe employers. The same applies for personal searches – by law, no reasonable suspicion is necessary and the employer can have whatever policy they want, be it random searches, blanket policy for all to be searched, etc.

The only legal requirement is that the person being searched consents to it. An employee cannot be forced to be searched, otherwise doing so without consent could constitute the criminal offences of assault or battery.  Saying that, if the employee unreasonably refuses to be searched when the employer has reasonable grounds for doing so under a proper workplace search policy, or genuine and reasonable suspicions, they may face disciplinary action. Based on the investigation and the employer’s belief of their guilt, it could even result in dismissal. Legally, the employer is able to make a decision based on the evidence that is available to them following a reasonable investigation so if that suggests that the employee may have done something wrong, in the absence of a search and an unreasonable refusal, disciplinary action can be taken.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.