Protecting Your Children: Can You Use A Nanny Cam?
Article © CA(SA)DotNews by DotNews
As the subject is very topical, there are many articles advising readers on how to choose a nanny cam but many don’t consider the potential legal ramifications.
What does the law say?
Spying on your childminder or domestic worker is governed by RICA (Regulation of Interception of Communications and the Provision of Communication Related Information Act). This upholds our Constitutional right to privacy and the Act requires that you seek the written consent of the childminder before setting up your Nanny Cam(s). If you want to use the Nanny Cam as evidence in a labour hearing, it is essential that the staff member’s consent be obtained upfront.
In terms of getting this consent, you do not have to spell out where exactly the cameras will be positioned, but clearly you will not be allowed to place them in her own private areas such as her bedroom or bathroom.
A good time to get this consent is to put the use of nanny cams in the domestic worker’s employment contract. Alternatively, if there already is a contract in place, the childminder’s consent could form an addendum to the contract.
Apart from enabling you to monitor your child’s safety and well-being generally, a nanny cam can also alert you to any household security problems or accidents such as a burglary or kitchen flood. There are also instances of cameras picking up theft by the childminder or other domestic workers.
There are also quite a few alternatives to consider such as whether you want the cameras to just record or do you want to access them live on your P.C./tablet/smart phone?
You are fully entitled to protect your children and your premises, but both RICA and our labour laws are complex and the penalties for getting them wrong are serious. Take full advice on your particular circumstances.