Share this content

HR tip: Searching employees

4th Feb 2010
Share this content

Learn HR is a leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications, and is experienced in advising on common HR and payroll problems. A wide selection of tips and guidance can be seen below. recommends that any tips are taken as a starting point for guidance only. This week, can we search employees as they leave work?

We have experienced pilfering from our warehouse. Are we entitled to search employees as they leave work?

Only if you take great care and only if you have permission of the person you intend to search. First make employees aware that they will be subject to spot searches as they leave the premises by publishing notices and by making it part of their terms of employment. Indicate how you will select people and what their rights are. Devise some fair means of selection to avoid any real or perceived bias, and follow this unless you have real suspicion about someone on a particular occasion. Call the person to a private room and give him or her opportunity to have a companion throughout the process. Someone of the same gender should conduct the search and, apart from the companion, anyone else who needs to be present must be of the same gender as the employee. The search should not be in any way intimate but should be restricted to the employee’s outer garments and anything being carried. Assuming nothing unauthorised has been found, the employee should be thanked and a note of the search made in a confidential log. If anything is found, again full details should be logged and disciplinary action taken and, if appropriate, the police should be notified. Anyone who refuses to be searched should not in any way be restrained, though should be disciplined for failing to comply with a rule. If you do adopt a policy of searching employees, take care to train security staff thoroughly and ideally have a senior manager present throughout.

Previous HR and Payroll tips:


January 2010
HR tip: Company car during notice
Company car during notice
After lunch nap
Employee refuses contract
Phone before sick visiting?


2009 tips

2008 tips

2007 tips

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.