Can the transition from a “mystery shopper” to a company lead to the dismissal of an employee?

Publié le 19 octobre 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

A "mystery shopper" is passing through your company. Can the employer use it to gather evidence to allow for dismissal? According to the Court of Cassation, once the employee has been expressly informed of the methods and techniques of evaluation before their implementation, the evidence is admissible and the dismissal justified.

Image 1
Image 1Crédits: mariiaplo

An employee is hired as a self-service restaurant employee on 1er November 2006.

On April 7, 2016, he was discharged on a disciplinary basis.

On 22 August 2016, he was dismissed for failing to comply with the collection procedures. Evidence is gathered through a “mystery shopper” scheme: a person pretends to be an ordinary shopper while being asked by the company to test and assess the quality of service.

The employee contests his dismissal. In his view, the employer cannot use a scheme to gather evidence.

However, such a mechanism had been brought to the employees’ attention by means of the minutes of the meeting of the company Committee (the EESC today), which reported on the visit of ‘mystery shoppers’, indicating the number of their visits, and an information note had been posted in September 2015.

The employer used the intervention sheet of the business of “mystery shoppers” to sanction its employee.

According to the Court of Cassation, since the information had been given before the implementation of the mechanism, the evidence is admissible and the dismissal justified.