Covert Surveillance used by Employer to justify dismissal of an Employee
In a recent case that was decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal it was ruled that the fact that the surveillance was taken covertly, without the employee’s knowledge did not affect the outcome that ultimately the employee’s dismissal was fair.
In the case, the employee, Mr Gayle had been videoed on five separate occasions at a sports centre when he was being paid to work for the City and Council of Swansea. Unsurprisingly Mr Gayle’s Employer dismissed him for his conduct, and when he pursued his claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal he sought to rely on Article 8 of the Human Rights Act and was successful with his claim for unfair dismissal. Article 8 of the Human Rights Act protects a person’s right to a private life.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal however did not agree with Mr Gayle’s argument and noted that the evidence was taken in a public place, when he was on his employer’s time and therefore he should have had a reasonable expectation that he would not be able to keep his activities private during this time.
The City and Council of Swansea were allowed to rely on the evidence obtained in making their decision to dismiss Mr Gayle, and this did not render the dismissal unfair.