Thursday 31 January 2019
It certainly is. There is no legislation in Queensland that prohibits or restricts it. Can you sack someone based on what you see on CCTV? Absolutely! If an employee is caught ‘red handed’ stealing from the till or having an intimate relationship with a subordinate in the workplace during work hours (or even non-work hours), subject to an investigation and giving the chance to respond, you may be able to dismiss that employee summarily for serious misconduct.
In the event an employee is disciplined or dismissed for events captured by CCTV, a copy of the recording should be made available to them or their lawyer as soon as possible. One case saw a casino employee terminated after actions caught on camera. The Industrial Relations Commissioner said the video clearly showed the actions of the employee, but that the investigation of the event by the business ‘lacked procedural fairness’. At no time prior to the termination was the employee given access to the recording. Employees have the right to request access to any footage used in disciplinary matters.
The risks associated with setting up a CCTV system in your workplace could include:
We recommend that employers ensure that any surveillance system that is already implemented or is going to be implemented is clearly communicated to employees and that employees understand how and when the surveillance will operate through policies, procedures and training. This includes for example how the material (i.e. footage) will be stored and for how long, who can view it and that disciplinary action may be taken against an employee caught red handed.