Can an employer lawfully use hidden video cameras to monitor theft by employees?
In the recent case of Lopez Ribalda and others v Spain, the European Court of Human Rights considered whether an employer’s decision to install hidden video cameras to monitor suspected workplace theft by a number of supermarket cashiers violated the cashiers’ right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The store manager noticed significant discrepancies between stock levels and actual sales – up to €20,000 worth of stock disappearing each month. Hidden video cameras were installed (without any warning) to detect theft by employees. Several employees were covertly filmed stealing or aiding thefts by customers and co-workers and were sacked. After their claims for unfair dismissal in the Spanish Courts were rejected, they complained to the European Court of Human Rights that the covert surveillance had breached their right of privacy under Article 8.
Disability discrimination: A matter of perception?
It is well understood that refusing to hire somebody because they are disabled will be discriminatory. But what happens if you refuse to hire someone because you think they might be disabled? Or what happens if you refuse to hire someone think they might become disabled in the future? These were the issues that the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to tackle in The Chief Constable of Norfolk v Mrs L Coffey.
Shared Parental Leave – Why is this benefit being so significantly underused?
Shared Parental Leave came into force on 5 April 2015, allowing parents the right to split up to 52 weeks of shared parental leave between them following the birth of a child, as well as up to 39 weeks of statutory shared parental pay. It was a dramatic shift in the law, intended to enable fathers to play a bigger role in childcare and enable mothers to go back to their careers earlier, if they so wished.
Express HR: Employment law developments in bitesize chunks
- The Ministry of Justice’s quarterly Employment Tribunal statistics show that the number of claims lodged by single applicants has increased by 64% between July and September 2017. This is the highest figure in the last four years and may be due to the abolition of Employment Tribunal Fees in July 2017.
- The High Court recently granted an interim injunction preventing an aggrieved former employee from disclosing confidential client information to the media, on the basis that there was a very real risk that the former employee would actually carry out his threat.
- “Gender Pay Gap: Closing it together” is the Government Equalities Office’s latest initiative, helping employers close the Gender Pay Gap through a series of comprehensive recommendations.
- The Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed that it is likely to be unlawful to try to bypass agreed collective negotiating arrangements by seeking to negotiate directly with the workforce instead.”
- Later this month, an Employment Tribunal will consider whether a former Ministry of Defence employee’s discrimination claim can be successful on the basis that his belief in Scottish independence amounts a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010.
- The union Unite has launched a new online “Pay Claim Generator” service to help workers negotiate better pay packages by providing access to their employer’s latest financial data.
If any of the above issues impact you or your business, or you have any questions, please get in touch with any member of the Employment Team.