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Unfair Dismissal: Covert Recording

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Was a tribunal entitled to reject an employer's conclusion that an employee had committed gross misconduct by installing a covert camera in his office while he was suspended from duty?

Yes, on the facts of the case, held the EAT in Northbay Pelagic Limited v Anderson.

The employee, who was also a director of the Respondent company, 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.

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.

Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.