Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

01st December 2016

Biometric clocking in?

My partner is a care support worker at a residential care home , who arrived at work recently to be fingerprinted and photographed to comply with a new Biometric "clocking in" system. This has been introduced without any knowledge or consultation with staff and no explanation regarding data protection aspects. I believe this is very poor practice on behalf of the care provider and I question whether it is legal and can be introduced without consultation. Can you advise?



I assume that this is part of a new security policy being introduced at the home. I have advised all providers that I have direct contact with to review their security arrangements as a matter of urgency.


I am sure that you are aware that more than one resident of a care home has been murdered in the care home where they lived relatively recently and there have also been cases involving serious injury to staff.


I think that you would agree that the security of residents and staff is of paramount importance.


There is of course a balance to be achieved and I am surprised that the staff of the home were not consulted or informed of the changes to security before the system was introduced. I am assuming that the system applies to all visitors to the home as well.


I am consulting our legal advisers about this and will respond again in the New Year.


Best wishes.



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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