Can an employer have surveillance cameras in the work place?
Yes, an employer may install surveillance or security cameras in the workplace. An employer may wish to install cameras as a method of increasing safety or security for employees.
Best practice would be for the employer to ensure employees are aware that information is being collected and explain why.
Where there is good reason, an employer may chose not to advise employees of the presence of a camera e.g. where advising employees would affect the reason for installing the camera or where it is not practicable to inform everyone in the workplace.
Because an employer may be collecting and storing personal information on employees they must also ensure they are not infringing any of the employee's rights under the Privacy Act 1993. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner can also be contacted for information on the application of the Privacy Act 1993 in employment situations. Surveillance cameras should not be installed in any room used by employees for changing clothes or showering.
Any concerns an employee has should be first discussed with their employer. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter they could agree to attend a free mediation through the Department of Labour. Click here for further information on problem solving.
Date Modified: Thursday, 31 May 2012
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