The Data Protection Commissioner has launched her annual report for 2015, which highlights the link between the work of her office and employment law - in particular around the monitoring of staff. In one case, it was determined that it was not justifiable for an employer to install CCTV in the staff canteen. Incidentally a member of staff who covered the CCTV for a period of time was dismissed. This ruling will certainly be of assistance in challenging that dismissal under the Unfair Dismissals Acts.
In one case, a supermarket worker was fired when she placed a paper bag over a CCTV camera in her workplace staff canteen during her break. The employee blocked the camera because she wanted privacy while a colleague styled her hair, she told the Commissioner. The supermarket said she wasn’t allowed block the CCTV because it was there to prevent staff pilfering and bullying. But the Commissioner ruled that the surveillance was unjustified. “In our view, there was no justification from a security perspective for having a camera installed in the canteen area,” said the Commissioner’s report.