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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work in Dentistry as a practice manager. In my spare time

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I work in Dentistry as a practice manager. In my spare time I shoot models for free up to nude levels. Someone in my workplace has found my images and reported it to the bosses. I have been asked to justifyit based on the fact than my name is ***** ***** the images and a patient may make the comnnection and therefore i will possibly bring the company into disrepute. I never tell anyone about what I do as a rule and they will have had to search me online to find them and then possibly use a link to see them depending on where they found it. I was spoken to on monday and I am under investigation,They refuse to tell me who objected on the grounds the images made them uncomfortable but i suspect its a disgrintled member of staff.I have since closed my FB group, twitter, all model/photographer websites apart from one where I have set the viewing to members only and changed my name. I have asked all models to detag and remove any reference to me or my sudonym.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long have you been working at the practice for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
4 months in this one I am seconded coverong maternity

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. First of all you need to check if there is anything in your contract that says you are unable to hold another job whilst employed by the current employer. If there is then you would have been expected to at least ask the employer for their permission to engage in other business activities, even if they had nothing to do with their business.

In terms of bringing the company into disrepute, you are not doing anything illegal and whilst some people may object to what you did outside of work, that is a matter of opinion. If it is clear that this was not in any way linked to your current employment and just a separate business interest then it may be difficult for them to try and justify that this amounts to misconduct, which they can use to discipline you. Also you have now taken steps to resolve this matter so any repercussions from this would be minimised or completely removed. Had you been asked to disassociate yourself from this but you refused and continued to be linked to it though your name and due to it being unique or easy to recognise, then that could have resulted in further action against you. However, you have acted reasonably in taking all reasonable steps to remove any association between your name and these activities so the employer should take this into account when deciding on what to do next.

Finally, your overall rights will depend on your continuous length of service you have with this employer. I understand that you have been working there for 4 months in a secondment position but it is the overall length of service with the main employer that would count so please confirm how long that has been so I can continue advising you.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have based on your length of service, 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

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben thank you. During the original investigation they open with a clause in my contract that says I cannot take paid work and that I had not told them about my other business. It's my hobby and models and photographers trade images for time modelling so not financial. I occasionally do a wedding for family and friends paid expenses but it's not really a business. They had to adjourn for a while as clearly they assumed I was being paid and my contract says things like work for anyone else and they are not sure what their next step is. Supposed to be meeting tomorrow but have had no notification and not had the meeting notes returned to me with amendments I asked for. I don't work for anyone else unless I count and I do it weekends when I am not working for them so it has no impact on them at all. Their whole premise is someone may make the connection between Paul Amey and the company either due to the site access or the logo. Google can't search logos on images so I have asked for all mentions of me to be removed under any posts. so I have not actually done anything it's risk avoidance. Just some disgruntled colleague went through a link and found my images- Now removed link. HR have gone away for advice as they clearly do not know what to do now I have identified it as a hobby and non paid. The internet is now virtually Paul Amey glossypinklipstick free which are the searches that you will find me under. I have set all my site security FB to friends only but no nudes on there and the model site to members only so they would have to be a member to see me and I have changed my alias to stop Google finding it hopefully. I have closed Twitter Instagram and so on. I have been in my company about 2 yrs 3 months. I have asked not to be tagged or named in any way in future in images by models and images will have no logo on them. There may be one or two still on the net that I cannot pull down as they have been collected by third parties.

Ok the good news is that you have been working there for more than 2 years so you are protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to try and dismiss you they must show there was a potentially fair reason for doing so and also follow a fair procedure. If they do not do so then you can consider an unfair dismissal claim, assuming they actually go ahead and dismiss. I would hope that in the circumstances this will not happen because it does not appear that you have breached the contractual clause on having other paid work and also even if you did, as long as it does not impact their business (e.g. you working during their time, your other work affecting your productivity in the main job, using their resources, etc) then this will not be seen as a serious issue which they should rely on to dismiss. They may still try and discipline because of what happened but at worst I would expect a warning which you can appeal anyway