Can an employee be fairly dismissed for installing a covert camera in his office?


The Claimant had previously owned a company with other family members which was bought out by the Respondent. He, and others, remained an employee and director of the Respondent. However, relations soon turned sour and he was suspended on a number of allegations pending a disciplinary investigation.


While suspended, he set up a web enabled camera in his office, to which he had exclusive access, because he suspected that someone had entered his room and accessed his computer. His employer concluded that he had committed gross misconduct and dismissed him.


The EAT held that the tribunal was correct to conclude that the decision to dismiss fell outside the band of reasonable responses. The Respondent omitted to conduct a balancing exercise between the right to privacy, and the Claimant's wish to protect his confidential information, where there was a negligible risk that persons other than those taking entry to the room would be captured on camera.


https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2021/00029_18_2801.pdf




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