Is it legal to install security cameras in the workplace?

The installation of surveillance cameras in businesses for employee control (control of entry and exit times, quality control, performance of their duties etc.) is a practice that does not have clear legislation in almost any European country. in labor regulations it is established in Article 20 of the Statute of Workers, that “the employer may take the measures it deems most appropriate surveillance and monitoring to verify compliance by the worker of their obligations and work duties, keeping in adoption and application due consideration to human dignity and taking into account the actual capacity of handicapped workers, if necessary.”

This power of supervision and control that labor legislation gives the employer is partly limited the obligation of the issuance of a report by the Works Council in advance regarding the “implementation or revision of organizational systems and control work.”

Security cameras in the workplace

According to experts, the only way justified that video surveillance is necessary “to meet production requirements and safety”, yes, provided it is carried out with the necessary guarantees. Such guarantees necessarily include a duty to warn the template (not enough with a sign with a symbol) and to explain in which cases the recordings of surveillance cameras will be examined by the management of the company and under what circumstances images cameras may be delivered to the judicial authorities.

In any case, experts in Brussels this coincide with the jurisprudence of the Spanish courts, security cameras in toilets, showers, locker rooms or rest areas may be installed to ensure the privacy of all employees. A right enshrined in Article 18.1 of the Spanish Constitution: “It guarantees the right to honor, personal and family privacy and image.”

If images are captured by surveillance cameras installed by the employer regardless these mandatory requirements, the employee concerned shall be entitled to request the termination of the contract and compensation fixed for unfair dismissal and as such is reflected in Article 50 of the Statute of Workers.

However, this is not the only regulations governing the installation of surveillance cameras in the workplace. The sounds and images are subject to protection by the Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPD). Thus, the film that is made by surveillance cameras if recorded, we are faced with what the LOPD qualifies as “data processing” so it falls squarely within its scope, instruction LOPD on video surveillance.

LOPD video surveillance

If the company fails to comply with legislation on video surveillance and the right to information in data collection (art. 5 of Law 15/1999, Data Protection) will be considered a minor offense and may face fines range between € 601 and € 60,101. Worst consequences would not register files video surveillance in the Spanish Data Protection Agency or use the files with a different purpose for which they were created and communisis to the Agency. In this case, the infringement is considered serious and the employer would face penalties between 60.101,21 € and 300.506,25 € THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ENDORSES THE INSTALLATION OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS IN THE WORKPLACE WITHOUT CONSENT OF EMPLOYEES A Case constitutional last March 3, 2016, guarantees that employers install security cameras without the consent of employees, provided that their purpose is to “monitor compliance with contract.” the statement includes “exceptions” to the Organic Law of Protection data on image recognition as “personal data”. On point, “dispensation from the obligation to seek the consent of the affected in the workplace where the processing of personal data necessary for the maintenance and compliance with the contract signed by the parties.”

The judge argues that the Workers ‘ Statute empowers the employer to “take the measures it deems most appropriate surveillance and monitoring to verify compliance by the worker of their obligations and work duties, keeping in its adoption and application due consideration to their human dignity ” and that ” the consent is implicit in the very acceptance of the contract. ”

Legislation video surveillance: Essential duty of information.

Although defend the explicit consent of workers may not be necessary, if it should remain the right of information to workers that it is being recorded. According to the judgment, it would be enough with placing a distinctive information about the existence of surveillance cameras and purpose of installing these.

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