Are you concerned about your company’s security? Do you wish to monitor your employees because of a recent incident? In any case, covert surveillance can help!
Covert surveillance refers to the discreet observation of individuals, groups, or activities. It is done without their knowledge or consent. You can do this with the help of audio recording devices, hidden video cameras, and other professional surveillance equipment from brands like LawMate.
But remember that this is unlawful in certain circumstances. So, if you are planning to try covert surveillance, you must first research whether it is lawful in your country and under what circumstances. In this article, we’ll explore exactly that. Let’s get started!
Is It Illegal to Record Your Employees?
No, it is not illegal to record your employees covertly or overtly. In fact, 80% of US companies monitor their employees in one form or another. But if you aren’t careful about certain factors, it can be illegal and even lead to hefty fines.
These factors include:
- What You’re Recording?
The visual or audio you are recording matters a lot. If it is something that invades privacy rights, your surveillance will be illegal. For example, recording personal calls of an employee or installing hidden cameras in the restroom.
- Your Country Laws
Employee privacy rights vary a lot from country to country. For example, in the US, some states require consent of all parties to covert surveillance of audio. Meanwhile, some states only require one-party consent (which can be the employer).
However, UK’s GDPR and Data Protection policies prohibit covert surveillance of audio or video without the consent of employees. Only RIPA allows employers to intercept the electronic communications of workers – to prevent a crime.
No matter where you are, there will always be laws protecting employees against unfair surveillance. So, you need to thoroughly research the laws to understand their legal status.
How Can You Record Your Employees Covertly?
If your country’s laws allow covert surveillance, you should still consider taking a few measures to prevent legal trouble. These include:
1. Establish Clear Policies
Develop comprehensive workplace policies that outline acceptable use of company resources, communication systems, and expectations for employee behavior. This can include details about covert monitoring and surveillance practices.
2. Communicate Transparently
Inform employees about any monitoring or surveillance practices in the workplace. Clearly communicate the reasons, methods, and extent of monitoring. This ensures employees understand the purpose and scope.
But if your purpose is to catch a thief or prevent misconduct, leave out details about where they will be monitored or exactly why you are doing it. This will make the employees more careful with their actions – improving the overall behavior while allowing you to identify the criminal.
3. Respect Privacy Rights
Remember that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, especially in certain areas like restrooms, changing rooms, and personal workspaces. So, no matter how urgent the investigation needs are, don’t violate these rights.
Instead, seek the help of professional investigators and agencies to resolve the problem lawfully. You can also request governmental authorities and police to help you out.