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Search authorisation and consent form

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Our Search Authorisation and Consent Form Template ensures legal compliance, obtaining consent for searches while protecting individual rights.

This model form explains the authorisation for a search and is used to record and employee's consent to it. It should be used in conjunction with a right to search policy.

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5 mins
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What is a Search authorisation and consent form?

An employee search authorsation and consent form is a document that is used by employers to obtain consent from employees to search their personal belongings or workspaces for company property, confidential information, or other prohibited items.

The form usually outlines the terms and conditions of the search, including the items or areas that may be searched, the circumstances that may warrant a search, and the consequences for refusing to consent to a search. The form will also typically explain the employee's rights with respect to the search, including their right to be present during the search, and their right to refuse a search.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this form be issued?
Before any search is carried out
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this form, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this form be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

Here are some UK employment legislations that support an employee search authorisation and consent form:

  1. Data Protection Act 2018: This legislation requires employers to have a legitimate reason for searching employee belongings or workspaces, and to ensure that the search is proportionate to the reason. The Act also requires employers to inform employees about the collection, processing and retention of their personal data.
  2. The Employment Rights Act 1996: This legislation may provide employers with the right to search an employee's workspace or belongings in certain circumstances, such as when there is a reasonable suspicion of theft or misconduct.
  3. The Human Rights Act 1998: This legislation protects employees' right to respect for their private life, but this right may be limited in certain circumstances where there is a legitimate reason for the search, such as for security purposes.
  4. The Equality Act 2010: This legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Employers must ensure that any searches they conduct are not discriminatory and do not infringe upon employees' protected rights.
  5. Common law duty of care: Employers have a common law duty to ensure the safety and security of their workplace and employees, and may be justified in searching employees or their belongings to fulfill this duty.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Search authorisation and consent


The organisation has a policy on the stop and search of employees in place to protect both the organisation and its staff from illegal activities, such as theft of the organisation's property or property belonging to another and the possession or supply of illegal substances.

Under this policy, the organisation reserves the right to stop and search its employees.

If an employee refuses to be searched, no search will take place and a member of management/the HR Manager will consider whether or not the reason for the refusal is reasonable.

An employee may face disciplinary action in line with the organisation's disciplinary policy if he/she unreasonably refuses to undergo a search or is found in possession of an item in breach of this policy following a search.

The organisation may report the employee to the police if there is evidence that the employee has committed an offence or if the search reveals evidence that the employee has committed an offence.

The search may include the following:

  • physical search of my person
  • all baggage, both personal and owned by the organisation
  • any vehicle on the organisation's property, both personal and owned by the organisation
  • all work areas

Please tick as appropriate

I consent to my employer conducting a search of my personal belongings and/or workspace, including but not limited to my locker, desk, and computer files, for the purpose of recovering company property, confidential information, or other prohibited items. I understand that I have the right to revoke my consent to any search at any time.

I do not consent to my employer conducting a search on me when I enter/leave the site or a secure area  

The reason(s) for my refusal is as follows:





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In which communication or process sequence does this template belong?

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Right to Search policy

This model policy outlines an employer's right to conduct workplace searches.

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Search authorisation and consent form template
Search authorisation and consent form
search authorisation and consent form