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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70218
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can a ex ‘self-employed’ staff member use photo taken on my

Customer Question

Can a ex ‘self-employed’ staff member use photo taken on my business property to promote their new venture?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hi, we are in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None currently as neither my wife or I were sure of the law
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not really - it’s largely speaking in the Hair and Beauty industry and images being posted on Social Media after they have left our business
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Who took the photo in question? Please note this is not always an instant service so I may not be able to reply immediately. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will get back to you the same day. Thanks

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Ben - Almost certain that the images have been taken in the Salon by the outgoing staff member. These images are now appearing on Instagram and Facebook etc
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Also, with regard to GDPR laws. If the client agrees for their images to be used and signs my companies Delegation of Authority form then I presume any Contract is between my business and the client and not an ex employee and client?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If the employee is using a photo they have taken, even if it is of your business premises, that is not unlawful. Had the photo been taken by someone else, the photographer would have had automatic copyright over it and been able to dictate how their photos are used. However, if he is the one who took the photo then he has control over its use.

There is nothing wrong with taking photos of your business premises, be it on the outside or the inside. You do not own the image rights of these and there are no image rights attached to them anyway. You can request that people do not take photos and hope they abide by these requests but if a photo is taken, you do not own anything in relation to it and cannot dictate how it is used.

If there are individuals in the photos and they are personally identifiable, then that will likely be covered under data protection laws. The person has the right to expect their image to be processed fairly and in accordance with the consent given. However, if they are unhappy with it then it is for them to decide what to do next and they would be required to challenge the ex-employee. You cannot do that – it is not your personal data that is being processed so you have no say over it, but can inform the clients and they can take any action if they decide to do so.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks Ben - it does thank you. It’s so annoying that after years of building up a solid client base some upstart try’s to take advantage off all the financial investment, let alone the time.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

I completely understand but the only issue with all this is this his actions are mainly unethical rather than unlawful and with ethical consideration you cannot take any formal legal action

All the best