powers of search

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by lemonsuckas, Nov 6, 2007.

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  1. i know this probably isnt the best place to post this but i am more likely to get a reply in here even if it is a lot of dogs abuse so here goes...

    i have looked on the web for powers of search and have got the plod rules. i have the military rules at home. the question i have is this

    lemon jnr has a part time job in a well known software supplier and the manager is a complete and utter barsteward. if the tills are short he keeps everybody there until it is found or the staff replace it(is this legal??).keeping the part timers after 10 oclock is illegal anyway because people under 18 are not allowed on nightshift after 10 pm. he has also made one member of staff remove clothing so they can be searched. not lemon jnr cause the manager would be enjoying intravenous fluids for a while if it had been!!!

    what i want to know is, are the actions of the manager legal and if so where does he get the powers to do this. i understand that in oz only a police constable has the power to search anybody.

    heres to the many helpful and hundreds of unhelpful answers. both are welcome :D
  2. speak to these lot, http://www.acas.org.uk/ they are specialists in employment law.

    You may want to read your son's employment contract, as details will be outlined in that. Check their policy on grievance procedures.
  3. When I was a young wipper-snapper, and working part time at Tesco all staff were made aware that we could be searched at anytime if suspected of stealing.
  4. As far as I know, managers have no right to search employees. They can ask them to empty their pockets but can't do anything if the employee refuses.

    I worked shop security for a while after leaving the regs and all the employees had to have their bags checked before leaving but that was all I was required/legally allowed to do.
  5. Give lemon jnr a crash course in milling and send him back to said manager for a "toe to toe chat" out the back like in the good old days.
  6. The below is shamelessly plagiarised from a legal Q&A site

    On 31 May 2007, the government announced a new legal power for teachers to search their pupils for knives and other offensive weapons without consent. So do employers have a similar power to search their employees if they suspect one of their workers is stealing stock or selling illegal drugs on their premises?
    Q Is there a legal right to search our staff?
    A The short answer is no. It is a fundamental principle of English law that every person's body is inviolate. Any form of physical contact - even mere touching if it offends the individual in question - is unlawful without consent. To conduct a bodily search of an employee without their express consent could therefore constitute assault, battery, false imprisonment and/or sexual assault. There may also be civil remedies available to the employee for the civil offence of trespass to the person.
    Searching your employees without their consent would almost certainly be seen as a breach of the mutual duty of trust and confidence between employer and employee. This could entitle the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
    Q There is a provision allowing us to search staff in each employee's contract. Does this mean we can search them without consent?
    A If there is an express provision in the contract of employment then an employee will be deemed to have given their consent when entering into the contract. However, an employer should still be wary. If the employee refuses to be searched, then they will be held to have withdrawn the previous consent.
    The way in which the search is carried out will be subject to the duty of trust and confidence. If an employee resigns and makes a subsequent claim for constructive unfair dismissal, then a tribunal will look at whether there were reasonable grounds for the search, and will examine whether it was carried out fairly and reasonably, with regard to all of the circumstances.
    Q What can we do if an employee refuses to be searched?
    A If there is a contractual term allowing the employer to stop and search staff, then a refusal could amount to a breach of contract, and you could initiate disciplinary action.
    If there is no contractual term, then you could argue that the employee has refused to carry out a reasonable management instruction. Although this may be sufficient to discipline the employee in question, it is unlikely to warrant a dismissal.
    It is advisable to have a stop and search policy in place, and an express contractual term, specifying that refusal to be searched may be treated as gross misconduct and may result in that employee's dismissal.
    Q What sort of things should we include in a stop and search policy?
    A Every business wishing to search employees should have a clear written policy in place. It should be issued to all employees and should set out the reasons why a search may be made, the individuals authorised to carry out such searches, where the search would take place, and the consequences of refusal.
    Q Will such a policy protect me from claims?
    A The existence of a policy will not prevent claims if searches are carried out unreasonably. Individuals who carry out the searches should receive training. Ensure that the searches are carried out in private by a person of the same sex as the individual being searched and that no overly-invasive methods of searching are used.
    Importantly, always remember to seek the employee's express consent prior to any search. If the employee refuses to give consent, no search should take place, but you may wish to commence disciplinary action.
    Q Can we search our employees' work areas/desks/cars if we have suspicions of theft?
    A An employee may argue that this infringes their right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, the ECHR is not directly enforceable against a private employer and Article 8, in any event, is not an absolute right, but one that must be balanced against other rights and the protection and freedoms of others.
    The UK's Human Rights Act 1998 requires tribunals to interpret domestic law in accordance with the rights set out in the ECHR, and so an employee could argue that, for example, their constructive dismissal claim is stronger, because their right to privacy was infringed.
    Again, a policy letting employees know that work areas may be searched will help you to defend any claims.
    By Joanna Downes, solicitor at Clarion Solicitors

  7. Sounds like assault, possibly indecent assault. Talk to a lawyer.
  8. Really? They could have just been asked to remove their coat. Don't jump to conclusions when you have very little facts to go on.

    Indecent assault? Drama queen.
  9. Whilst you are right it may not be indecent it is almost certainly illegal as is the taking of money to make up till losses.

    The quick answer is to take Lemon junior to the Citizens Advice Bureau as quickly as possible as they will be able to give chapter and verse on the precise legalities. It may well be possible to take action both through the police and employment tribunal against this guy who should quite clearly not repeat not be allowed to manage dogs never mind people
  10. Contact the helpline in Moodyb's link. Much quicker than going to the CAB and they should be able to advise you.
  11. Alternatively dial 1-800-Los Angeles underground and see if you can rustle up the team of ex special forces operatives on the other end...

    Lets make sure this fool gets pitied before outrage breaks out!
  12. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I think Hogg covered it pretty well. Lemon Jnr needs to check the contract (or Snr), and if he has given express permission for a search, he can still withdraw it, but face disciplinary, or sacking if that is construed in the contract as gross misconduct.

    The employer can NOT stop the staff leaving the premises as this will constitute a form of kindnap or detention and is illegal.

    Asking a staff member to get undressed: the staff member can refuse, and there is nothing the employer can do about it except to instigate disciplinary.

    Personally, if an employer, with or without a contract, wished to physically, and I was not prepared to accept that, I would tell them so. If they put their hands on me, either to restrain me whilst doing a search, or simply to search me, I would enter into immediate contact drills, to include appropriate 'contact therapy' to the instigator to refresh in their minds the wrongness of such actions.

    If it was done to Biped Jnress, and she had allowed it, I would, irrespective of legal penalties, remove the offending parts of the offender, with a knife, saw, hatchet, blunt spoon.

    Hope this helps.
  13. Where the fcuk did you spring from?

    I'm outraged you are butting in on this thread. Bugger off. :D
  14. I did some agency driving for a company awhile ago and they carried out random searching of all stuff on the way out, it was done purely random, you had to press a button the way out. If it went red, you were searched.

    Bags, jackets off, then a metal detector wand.

    I can't see how it is legal to get the staff to make up the difference in the till or hold them after work against their will.
  15. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    It very much depends on how much violence the member of staff is prepared to visit on the management.

    I hold my personal space to be inviolate - and will protect said personal space with extreme sanction. If the answer is yes for a search, it is with caveats, and if it is no, expect to see blood and guts if you don't accept that.