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Follow these 4 tips BEFORE searching employees to avoid infringing on their rights

by , 02 March 2016
Employee privacy can be a very tricky area to work around when it comes to maintaining order and stability within your company.

This is because you might need to invade an individual's privacy, to an extent, in the course of doing so.

Now while we all have a constitutional right to privacy, it's LIMITED, and being able to search your employees is a classic example of this limitation.

But before you can search your employees, there are certain actions that needs to be taken on your part. And failure to comply with them can land you in hot legal water.

So before searching your employees at work, implement these 4 tips...


POPI Act is coming into effect! Here's how you can comply before it's too late

There are talks about POPI coming into effect before the end of this year.

This means you have to make sure you comply with the Act NOW! If you don't comply, you'll face fines of up to R10 million and even jail time!

But where will you start?

Read here to find out…

If you want to search your employees and go through their personal belongings, you must have a sign posted at the entrance to your offices.

The sign must be PROMINENT so that you can easily argue that when an employee enters the building she is aware of the conditions and agrees to the conditions you impose though the sign.

You can make searching employees a condition of employment within the employees' human resources manuals.

For example, some employers make drivers agree to a condition of employment in which they can undergo breathalyser tests from time to time.


Before physically searching the person, the relevant should gain further consent from the employee to search, otherwise it can be viewed as physical assault.


For reasons of dignity, male employees should be searched by males and female employees by females.
*Those were 4 tips to keep in mind before searching employees.

To learn more on various employee privacy issues, go to chapter E 02 in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

Don't already have it? No problem!

Simply click here to order yours today. 

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