Ikea has launched an internal investigation after CCTV cameras were found in toilets by several staff members.
The discovery was made by staff at the Ikea distribution centre in Kingston Park in Peterborough.
The CCTV cameras were concealed by ceiling panels but after the lights went out in a toilet block, a staff member noticed an infrared light in between a panel, the Peterborough Telegraph reported.
Upon further inspection, it was found that the light was a CCTV camera, with devices found in both the male and female toilets.
The discovery was reported to management at the distribution centre with staff being reassured that although the cameras have been in place since 2015, they were not operational.
According to data protection law, CCTV cameras should only be used in “exceptional circumstances” in areas where privacy is usually expected, such as changing rooms or toilets. And in these circumstances, the operator must let people know they are being filmed - usually through the use of signs.
An Ikea spokesperson told The Independent: “We take the protection of our co-workers’ safety and privacy very seriously.
“In 2015, for the purpose of maintaining a safe workplace for all co-workers, surveillance cameras were installed in the void above the ceilings in the bathrooms and locker areas, and in the corridors outside of these rooms at the Peterborough Distribution Centre.
“Investigations into this issue are ongoing and all cameras found have now been removed. We understand the discovery of these cameras may be concerning, and during this time we are offering support to co-workers on-site.”
It is understood that members of staff at the distribution centre are seeking what legal options are available to them.
One staff member said: “I have never heard anything like it before. I am struggling to take it in. How on earth did anyone think that was ever acceptable?
“There must have been thousands of people that might have had their privacy breached in those toilets, there are so many workers that come and go from the place.”