CCTV in employment tribunal proceedings

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By Caroline Jennings

Caroline Jennings explores the use of CCTV as evidence in the employment tribunal.

‘I recently acted for a respondent in a simple unfair-dismissal case where a security guard had been dismissed for gross misconduct for sleeping while on duty. The claimant denied that he was sleeping on duty and claimed that his dismissal was unfair as a result. Of course, the tribunal did not have to make a finding on whether the claimant was asleep or not. The key issue to be determined was simple: was the conclusion that the claimant was asleep while on duty a reasonable one based on a reasonable investigation.

‘The respondent was assisted by CCTV footage of the claimant allegedly sleeping while on duty. This footage had been seen by the claimant and formed part of the disciplinary process. It was this footage upon which the respondent had reached its conclusion that the claimant was asleep. Having not dealt with CCTV evidence at tribunal before, I considered how to address the same. Having regard to the Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004, the overriding objective and the fact that the Employment Tribunal tries to avoid strict rules of evidence, it seemed to me the best way to present the footage to the judge was as being centrally relevant to the determination of the case — namely was it reasonable to conclude, having watched the CCTV, that the claimant was asleep.’ …

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