European Employment Law Cases

Case Reports

2016/46 No expectation of privacy in material obtained during a criminal investigation (UK)

Keywords Human rights, privacy
Authors Anna Bond
Author's information

285389 Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
  • Abstract

      The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has upheld an Employment Tribunal’s (‘ET’s’) finding that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) was not engaged when an employer used private material obtained by the police during a criminal investigation as part of an internal disciplinary investigation into one of its employees. This material had been taken from the claimant’s phone by the police, who then provided it to the employer (stating that it could be used for the purposes of their investigation). The facts in this case were unusual. Whether or not an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in similar circumstances will depend on all the facts, including the source of the information, whether the employee has expressly objected to its use, and whether the relevant conduct took place in, or was brought into, the workplace.

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