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Blog  »  April 2014  »  Dunnes Stores ordered to pay €8,000 to employee - Blog
24
Apr 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Dunnes Stores ordered to pay €8,000 to employee

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) recently heard that a Galway branch of Dunnes Stores installed CCTV cameras to spy on employees they believed to be eating unpaid for chips, chicken goujons and other food during their shifts. The cameras were installed without the employees being notified. Following their “investigation” Dunnes dismissed up to nine employees for eating unpaid-for food.

The EAT ruled that Dunnes Stores’ investigation “fell short of acceptable practice” and criticised the retailer for spying on employees. Whilst the tribunal recognised that the individual in question in this case had contributed to her own dismissal, they ruled that the dismissal was unfair and awarded her €8,000.

Lesson Learnt

This case illustrates the care that must be taken when using CCTV in the workplace. Use of CCTV is heavily regulated by Data Protection legislation. If employers do intend to use CCTV cameras, they must notify employees that cameras are in place and never use hidden cameras.

Secondly, this case highlights the need to follow correct procedures when taking disciplinary action against an employee. Whilst this employee was in breach of the company’s policies, the company’s lack of adherence to appropriate practice resulted in a costly fine. Disciplinary policies and procedures should be adhered to.

For further information on employee theft see our blog “What to do if you Suspect an Employee of Stealing”.

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