CIPD hopeful of workable rules on covert monitoring

Employers are optimistic that they will no longer have to automatically contact the police before the covert monitoring of staff as the final draft on guidance claimed.

Employer bodies believe they won a significant victory at the last meeting with the Information Commission on 16 April to change to final draft code.

The CIPD’s Diane Sinclair said that the Information Commission had accepted that it was impractical for employers to contact the police over all covert monitoring.

She said many employers would want to monitor for soft drug abuse, for example, but would not want to involve the police.

The Information Commission acknowledged that covert monitoring of some types of offence would not be in breach of the Data Protection Act, but has yet to decide when police must be involved.

David Smith, said: “It is an area that we have been looking at again. Covert monitoring is a serious intrusion of privacy, which is why we originally included the need to contact the police.

“Members at the consultation said that even for serious criminal offences they may want to deal with them internally.”

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