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Witsend2018

Punished for not agreeing to photography

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Myself (and other employees) declined (politely) to have our photos taken for an annual report.

We were then punished by our operations manager who stormed up to our desks and demanded loudly that we take extra work because we had let the team down.

 

This is despite the fact that that we had manned the office phone line and worked on our tasks while the photographer was taking photos of others.

 

This happened less than half an hour before we were due to finish work and was the last working day of the week for a number of us.

No reference was given to the fact that I have childcare responsibilities and had to leave on time to pick my child up.

 

Can our employer discipline us for not having a photo taken? Is it not our right to refuse permission for this?

 

The wider background is that this is a very unhappy workplace.

Previous photos taken were used for purposes other than what was originally stated by a partner organisation and we were given no guarantees as to the scope of use for these new photos.

 

Personally I informed my manager twice that I felt really uncomfortable and anxious about having my picture taken and was given no reassurance but just punished in front of the open office.

 

There are also LOTS of other issues unrelated to this but any advice on the photography issue would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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Of course you have right to refuse to be photoed at work, if you are not contracted to be photoed for any purpose.

 

Your operations manager seems like an unprofessional buffoon, looking to receive grievances. Suggest you all put in official written grievences, if you feel strongly enough.


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wel done you.

 

I resisted for 35yrs

they tried everything event stating i had to have my picture on my MOD pass

tough cookies mr employer..it doesn't

you cant.


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A couple of things to consider

 

It seems from your OP that you were approached for permission and this was refused?

 

If this is true, then is there anything in your contract (or company employee handbook) which covers any sort of requirement for photographs to be taken and used for a particular purpose?

 

Assuming that there is no such contractual obligation, and that permission was refused to have photos taken then your employer is on thin ice. There are privacy considerations and rights afforded by the DPA (and possibly the HRA) especially as the report would be available to people outside of the immediate organisation and probably to a far wider audience. There could have been all sorts of reasons why you did not wish for your image to be known outside of your office and your employer is completely wrong to take action against you for refusing

 

The words 'punishment' and 'discipline' however are emotive and very hard to prove. Had you been formally disciplined then it would be much easier to deal with since it is highly unlikely that there would be a clause in the employer's disciplinary procedures which would allow them to do so - other than the all encompassing 'failure to carry out a reasonable instruction' which would be almost impossible to make it stick. Expressing annoyance and giving you extra work would be very difficult to define as a retributional act unless there is evidence to support this - maybe an email or statements from others would be required

 

Probably the best way of dealing with this would be as a matter of bullying and harassment - a formal grievance in the first instance outlining that you had good reasons to refuse permission to have photos taken, and that in in the manner you were spoken to and in forcing you to take on extra work you consider this to be an act of bullying and harassment as it caused distress and anxiety and was not the result of poor performance but an act of temper on the part of the manager concerned. So much the better if the others that you mention are also willing to add their names to the complaint


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Thanks. I’ve contacted my union rep but not sure if i’ll hear back. I’ve got my photo on my ID pass, and was bullied into a previous photo shoot which I hated every minute of. Since then the photos have cropped up everywhere and I’m not happy with the risk of that happening with more pictures. I’m actively seeking other work so worried aboutnrocking the boat too much but I’m also not inclined to be bullied by my manager

 

No permission was sought at all. We were told to ‘make ourselves available’ and there was no option given as to opting out and no information about how long photos could be used or if they could use them online etc.

I do feel it’s more a bullying issue. I suspect she was ****ed off that we didn’t cooperate and do the ‘happy’ act when they have spent money booking a photographer. It felt very tit-for-tat. But I didn’t decline to participate because I wanted to be awkward I didn’t participate because I don’t want my image plastered all over the place. Nothing was done to reassure me or others. Just landing us with extra work, expressly because we hadn’t participated, just prior to the time we were due to leave felt calculated and an attempt to exert power. My colleagues who are in the same boat are equally ****ed off so may well be willing to take a stand

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I would say that now is the time to make a detailed note of exactly what happened – including time, date, who said what to who and who witnessed what.

 

If you are able to, I would get your colleagues to make similar notes and I would also get the outside contact details of your colleagues. One of the problems with these kind of things is that one can often think that all your colleagues are going to back you up – but in fact when you turn around, none of them are there because quite understandably they are worried about their own jobs in their own families.

 

How long have you been working there? You don't tell us. On the basis of what you have described, I would have thought that this is an intolerable situation and could easily be considered to be a basis for a constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when the situation at work because so intolerable that you have no choice but to resign – but you then claim that effectively you have been dismissed as a result of the behaviour of your employer. If you're looking to get out of the company way then this could be a good opportunity although it would have to be clear that it was this incident that forced you out and that you weren't using it as an excuse simply to get out on good terms.

 

Of course if you could persuade others to join you then this would help – but you need to be careful because trying to incite others to leave their jobs could itself be a justification for a dismissal.

 

As far as I recollect the present law, you should have been working there for two years after which you have employment rights. If you want to claim constructive dismissal then you would have to react quite quickly. If you continue tolerating the situation for too long and then eventually decide to resign it would no longer be treated as a constructive dismissal because clearly the situation would not have been intolerable enough for you to decide to go immediately.

 

Having left the company you would then have to begin a tribunal action immediately on the basis of your constructive dismissal and saying that you'd been unfairly dismissed.

 

I'm sure that others with more up-to-date experience will be along to confirm what I say – or else to challenge it.


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PLEASE do not even start thinking of constructive dismissal, you are miles away from that!!

 

BF you should know better and I'd you don't you should not be a member of the site team.

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I think you would need more than one incident of bullying, and to have exhausted the internal grievance process, before you could consider contructive dismissal.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Company's can insist for photo id.

Whoever said they resisted for years on a MOD id is quite frankly full ofit.

 

Constructive dismissal?? Absolutely 100's of miles away.

 

Its dependent on what your contract of employment states

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That is not entirely correct.

The GDPR would require explicit consent for photos of this type that is totally unrelated to the performance of the job no matter what the employment contract states.

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Both posts by members of the site team.

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Both posts by members of the site team.

 

 

The site team admin and mod. They have never said they are gurus!


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Ah, that's ok then. My fault, I just assumed they should/would have some level of responsibility for the advice that they give...especially when the advice could result in someone thinking they have a case for constructive dismissal when my blind Springer Spaniel could see that's just not the case.

 

I assumed people came on here for advice and also that being admin carried a certain level of responsibility.

 

Apologies to the OP for going off track but I really do not want you to think you have a case for CD.

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when OP has also posted on 2 other sites, I think they have a wealth of opinions to choose from.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Ah that's ok then, Let's hope they don't get advise that is so ridiculous on the other sites then.

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Not ridiculous.

Depends on what the whole story is.

They can't go down the route of CD, based on this one off issue.

But if the staff have been bullied over a period of time, had official grievences ignored, then it might be a different story.

 

Perhaps start a discussion thread on CD, so this can be given proper debate,

Edited by dx100uk
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Now peopel dont own the right to their own image, just a copyright on a particular photograph so the company using the pictures for other purposes isnt breaking the law. However, unless they have some particular clause in your contract that states that they may demand use of your features for publicity purposes ( are you a pop star or footballer for example?) then they cant demand you play along with this scheme.

 

 

TBH I think the boss was embarrassed by your refusals and felt a right prat in front of others after promising things he couldnt deliver so took it out on the people who caused his red face. It will blow over because it sounds like he hasnt got hold of the reins on a lot of other issues adn that is what needs addressing.

 

 

If you want to start a grievance consider something more relevant to the day to day as this wont crop up again for another year at least

Edited by honeybee13
p

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But it's plainly not is it? I have no interest starting a discussion about CD, all I wanted to do was point out that it was terrible advice which I did.

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