Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
There are various reasons why an employer may wish to monitor or film its employees in the workplace. When there is a genuine reason for monitoring employees, such as security, training, legal obligations, etc the employer would normally be justified in monitoring, as long as it is conducted in an open and reasonable manner.
In this case the filming appears to be done for a purely commercial reason so they may be more restricted in what they can do.
The actual use of monitoring equipment in the workplace will be covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) as it would involve the processing of personal data. As such, the employer must adhere to a number of principles set out in the DPA, which include:
· obtaining the data fairly and lawfully;
· informing employees of the types of monitoring that are being used;
· using the data obtained from monitoring only for a specific purpose;
· limiting the data to adequate and relevant data; and
An employee may only try and prevent the monitoring from taking place if it breaches any of the DPA principles or if it is carried out in a way that is causing or is likely to cause substantial damage and distress to them.
So in summary, by filming you the employer is processing your personal data as they are processing footage from which you can be identified as an individual. They do not have an automatic legitimate reason, such as security, to fil you and this is done for a commercial reason so it would ideally require your consent, or if you are unhappy with it – some changes to ensure your privacy is not violated. For example they could go back to only filming your hands or simply not include your face.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on challenging this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Hi there, in the first instance this needs to be resolved internally and directly with the employer. You have the formal grievance option open to you and you can appeal the outcome if you are unhappy with it. If the matter remains unresolved and the employer still forces you to be broadcast in this way, your options would really be twofold:
· If you have not given your consent to your personal data being processed and the employer does so regardless, it could be a breach of data protection. This is handled by the Information Commissioner’s Office and whilst you can complain to them, be aware that they do not always deal with isolated or smaller complaints so they may decide not to get involved.
· If all else fails and you believe that as a result of this you cannot continue working there, your final option is to resign and make a claim for constructive dismissal in the employment tribunal. You need 2 years service with the employer to be able to do this.
Not really, this is really limited to those with some kind of commercial value to their image, like celebrities, sports players, etc
Hi there, I don’t think that meeting with them just to see what they have in mind will hurt – at worst it just confirms your concerns about this. On the other hand, it can allow you to gather enough information about it to let you challenge it further. Of course you cannot be forced to meet with them so whether you do so is entirely up to you
well it would depend on what they are broadcasting, how they deal with it in general, i.e. is there an option not to show you, will they introduce it regardless of whether you consent or not, etc
they may well do that but you cannot be forced to partake in this and if that means that your job is untenable, then you do have the constructive dismissal as an option but as mentioned previously do try and resolve it with them at first
No worries at all hope you resolve it
Sorry to hear that. You cannot stop them from ding what they are proposing to do but it just means you have to decide whether you can continue working there as a result or not and consider whether to take further action such as constructive dismissal
Sadly my involvement is limited to this site only, I cannot take on work through here as that is against the terms I work under. But you do not necessarily need a solicitor and also before you are allowed to claim you would have to go through ACAS and use them as negotiators to try and get a resolution without the need of tribunal involvement and that is all free
Don’t worry, I can give you a pre-drafted answer to provide you with details on the next steps so it won’t take up too much time. If you need to ask more detailed questions then you can always just pot a new question for my attention.
In a constructive dismissal case the affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.
If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.
Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.
An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.
Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.
A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.
If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.
The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: