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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I photographed my femal receptionist in her house working on

Resolved Question:

I photographed my femal receptionist in her house working on the computer without her permission and she now has resigned and asking for 12 weeks pay . The photographs were to go on my new website but not without her final agreement
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Has she suggested taking any action in relation to this?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am unable to talk at the moment as I am in court today but I will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok respond on line for now regards ***** *****
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Sorry can you please confirm how long she has worked there for?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
2 years approx
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Do you have an exact date she started as that would affect her rights?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Approx June 18 2014
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

If she felt forced to resign then the only claim she can make is for constructive dismissal. This occurs when the following two elements are present:

· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.

A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

Taking a photo of her is not in itself that serious but could be if it was done covertly and then used without her permission. If she knew the photo was being taken and assuming you had not used it then it is unlikely this would be that serious to justify resignation.

In any event 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. Again, I do not think they were that bad to justify that.

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. However, this is a very difficult claim and to submit it she needs to pay over £1000, which she may not ever do.

So you can refuse to pay her anything by saying she had no justifiable grounds to resign and that you have no obligation to pay her anything now.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have if she takes 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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Rating 4
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. In the event she takes this further she will first have to use ACAS to negotiate through them with you. This is a voluntary process and you cannot be forced to participate in it. If she then decides to take this to tribunal as mentioned she needs to pay over £1k to issue the claim. She may be out off from doing so due to the costs but if she does you can still consider settling by offering her the 12 weeks pay (or anything else) to try and get her to drop the claim. So monitor the situation and remember she only has 3 months to claim so once that has passed she won’t be able to take this further.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This employee has sent me threatening text messages and serious allegations also she says she has footage of me taking photo and threatening to involve my wife and family . She says she is now I'll and wants sick pay 3 months . If I agree she will not take matters further but has also said do not contact her by phone. Text or calling to see her or she will ring the police so just agree and she will not tell anyone and I will come out of this unscathed and will not have shamed my family . She has also said she will not send her husband and brother to confronted if agree by sending a on word text only saying OK . She has my bank account details company debit card and records of all credit card transactions numbers from customers who pay on line
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Looks like she is trying to blackmail you in some ways - that is not how you undertake negotiations. If she uses the data she has about you maliciously then sh will be the one in trouble and you can take it further. It is up to you how you process - you can hold off as mentioned and hope she does not do anything stupid or malicious - if she does it may damage your business or you personally but you could take things further against her.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you maybe speak tommorrow
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Ben have i commited a criminal and civil offence has she has suggested regards
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

It may be a breach of privacy but hardly a criminal matter that the police would be interested in and from a civil perspective unless she has suffered any losses she us unlikely to be able to claim anything

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She will be claiming loss of earnings due to her stress
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

That is nonsense she cannot claim for that - constructive dismissal is the only claim she can make here as explained above and she will have to initiate the tribunal process within 3 months if she wanted to proceed

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