employees rights re being filmed at work

Discussion in 'Legal' started by cajh, Dec 9, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    I was hoping someone could advise me on my rights as an employee who has been informed that I am to be filmed whilst I am at work. This is not a promotional film, nor a Health & Safety film but a documentary that will be shown on national tv!!
    As employees we have not been asked for consent but told we have no choice. My employment involves members of the public who will be asked to sign a consent whereas it appears we shall not be afforded that right. My colleagues at work feel exactly as I do and are not happy to appear without their consent on national tv.
    Union has been involved but as yet no information regarding this has been forwarded to members.
    Filming is due to begin the week before Christmas so hopefully I will recieve some prompt replies. I cannot divulge too much information due to the nature of my work but will endeavour to answer any questions I may be asked.
    Hopefully I have posted this on the correct forum and am desperate for any help/advice that can be offered. Many thanks in advance.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #1
  2. akirk

    akirk UKBF Legend

    2,214 576
    Write to your manager / the tv production company (those making the film - not the channel showing it) stating that you withhold permission to be included / shown in the film... you may not be able to prevent being shown, but they may have to make you go all fuzzy to hid your identity... the production company in all reality will cut you out as being too much hassle...

    Alasdair
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: akirk Member since: Jul 1, 2010
    #2
  3. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    Thank you for the above advice. The problem we have re writing to manager(s) is we have been told by the head of dept that if we are not happy, then seek other employment! I am aware that I have to be very careful what actions myself and my colleagues take; we are employed by the NHS and have multiple policies re privacy, confidentiality, whistleblowing etc, however, none about employees rights and filming! In a nutshell I cannot afford to lose my job.
    I will attempt to find out who the production company is and contact them,however I'm unsure how my employees will react to this? The hospital are obviously recieving revenue for this and will not want the 'boat rocking'. They envisage this as 'good' promotion for the hospital but as employees we feel it is an infringement of our privacy and could impede on our practice.
    One argument we put forward was the scenario of an employee who may have relocated to escape a violent/abusive relationship only to be found by their former partner by watching a tv programme. It would then not be difficult for that person to trace and locate their partner and restart harrassment etc...
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #3
  4. akirk

    akirk UKBF Legend

    2,214 576
    I think that you need to just be balanced in your approach.
    Write to your manager - you can't be sacked for that - if you are you retire on the proceeds of the unfair dismissal tribunal :) Unless you have within your contract that the NHS can include you in filming etc. then the production company will require a model release for any person where they are more than background in shot - that is yours to grant / with-hold.

    Don't worry about fictional scenarios - irrelevant - you don't object on principle which is what it sounds as though you wish to do - you can't stop the NHS allowing filming to take place, instead if there are any such scenarios, those individuals need to address the situation personally.

    you mention 'employees' what is your role that you have emloyees within the NHS? you might have staff you manage, but I don't see how you have employees... is there more to this than you are saying?

    I would suggest the following:

    every individual has the right to say no to commercial use of them on TV / graphics etc. however they do not have the right to say no if it is just news reporting...

    anything more complex I would suggest is not relevant to this forum - wrong place to discuss it...

    Alasdair
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: akirk Member since: Jul 1, 2010
    #4
  5. Newcott

    Newcott UKBF Legend

    1,438 303
    Cajh - I run a video production company and what aKirk has said is correct.

    If they are film a production they can not show it without everyone appearing in it signing a release form - this gives them permission to use your image, voice and likeness. If you don't give this permission then they can't use it - simple as that.

    Make sure they havn't put a general one up around the office - sometimes on larger sets/productions in public you'll find one along the lines of "by appearing in this area whilst filming you give permission..." but again they still need to notify and have this clearly marked.

    And I'm no employment expert but I'm pretty sure they can't fire you over this - especially if you have safty in numbers - if all the employee's stick together they can't get rid of you all ;)
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: Newcott Member since: Jul 9, 2010
    #5
  6. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    Sorry my mistake that led to that misunderstanding, I meant to say 'employers'.
    Thank you for your reply and advice.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #6
  7. akirk

    akirk UKBF Legend

    2,214 576
    Ahh - makes much more sense!
    I still think that the simplest is writing to the production company with-holding permission / model release.
    They would find it very difficult to show you / will avoid it at all costs / side-steps the NHS management ;) / they will be far more aware of model releases, issues, needs, etc. than the NHS.

    Alasdair
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: akirk Member since: Jul 1, 2010
    #7
  8. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    This filming is not part of a news programme nor will it contain fictional scenarios. The programme is a reality tv documentary where we are to be shown going about our daily work.
    There is no general notice in the department this is to take place in i.e. disclaimer/assumed consent etc.
    Incidentally our hospital was considered for this programme a couple of years ago. At that time all staff involved were sent a letter asking if they wished to take part or not (it was a simple yes or no), the vote was , by a huge majority no, this time there has been no such correspondence. We have been told we will be involved.
    The relevant programme was aired last year and myself and my colleagues were horrified by it! We simply do not wish to be a part of reality tv without our permission. Most, if not all of my colleagues are in agreement that we are being unfairly treated and were we given the option would say NO!!
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #8
  9. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy Moderator
    Verified Business ✔️

    15,826 6,855
    You are employed by the NHS. ythey must adhere to the human rights act this states that everyt individual has the right to privacy in their home and family life. Your argument is that they are infringing your right to privacy and as such your human rights.

    My advice would be to let them sack you and then sue. You will win hands down!
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #9
  10. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade UKBF Legend

    6,297 2,138

    Whilst I don't agree with OWG's suggestion that you let them sack you, I agree that you have certain rights. I'm not so sure that the human rights act is the relevant act in this instance.

    I would stick to employment laws and statutes. Try to resolve this amicably, don't chuck your career down the pan. You can either approach this individually or as a group. I assume that as you work for the NHS that you are part of a union? I would get in touch with your union rep and let them check into the legal position and go from there.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: LicensedToTrade Member since: Nov 7, 2009
    #10
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    Thanks for your reply. Would this Act cover me in the workplace? I do acknowledge however, that if I am seen in this reality tv programme then acquaintances, neighbours may approach me for advice etc. This could potentially happen due to the nature of my job...and like everyone else I do appreciate time out from the stressful nature of my job and could potentially put myself at risk if any advice I gave was, for example, misinterpreted etc.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #11
  12. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    Thank you for the advice. I cannot risk being fired from my job as I'm the only wage earner in a household of children, mortgage etc. We are approaching this as a collective as all my colleagues concur with my own personal feelings. Our union rep is 'on the case' but as yet they have not reached any ideas of what we can do. Unfortunately unions do not hold the power they once did, and our union is not known for being proactive in these cases but are more for clinical/professional issues.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #12
  13. PI Guy

    PI Guy UKBF Big Shot

    2,489 191
    no it wouldn't.

    Privacy in the work place does not exist except where it is given in your employment contract.

    There is no reasonable entitlement to privacy in a work area where it is open to the public.

    The TV production company however would be very unlikely to show footage of employees that have declined to be filmed as they just wouldn't want to go to court over it.

    This is however an issue of employment law and since you have an union, then i suggest you talk to them. Are you a member?
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: PI Guy Member since: Jun 20, 2006
    #13
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade UKBF Legend

    6,297 2,138
    In any employment dispute there is risk, even if you go on to successfully win at a tribunal you may find your debts unmanagable in the interim.

    In this instance you need to weigh up which is the lesser of the two evils...being filmed for a programme that airs nationally, or running the risk of being dismissed (legally or otherwise).

    Ultimately if they did dismiss you it wouldn't be on the grounds that you refused to appear in this programme, they aren't that stupid. Got any skeletons in the closet that could come back to haunt you? Any previous warnings or blemishes on your record?
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: LicensedToTrade Member since: Nov 7, 2009
    #14
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Dawg

    Dawg UKBF Legend

    10,823 3,456
    Get everybody to go all Tourettes during filming.
    Stress induced Tourettes...
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: Dawg Member since: Feb 12, 2006
    #15
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. cajh

    cajh UKBF Newcomer

    9 0
    Yes I am a member of a union, however, they do not appear to have offered a solution as yet. The union I am afiliated with is more concerned with clinical/profssional issues e.g. drug errors etc...
    I have no blemishes or anything similar on my work record although due to the nature of my work colleagues do have outstanding complaints against them.This is not as sinister as it sounds as the area we work in complaints are part and parcel of our everyday work, it is 'part of the job'. As for skeletons in the cupboard, I would suggest we all have some!!!!! ;)
    Tourettes whilst at work would become a case of instant dismissal, whilst it is accepted that the general public can shout , swear and occasionally get physical with us it is a definate no no that we retaliate in anyway , shape or form. The patient has rights , it appears that staff do not.
    Many thanks for all your replies and advice :)
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2010 By: cajh Member since: Dec 9, 2010
    #16
  17. steve23

    steve23 UKBF Ace

    707 149
    Just off the top of my head - going by what you see on TV - Im not sure there are any legal rights covering this.

    Think about all the reality shows you see etc - some show people in a very bad light - and whilst it is amazing what some will do for fame - i cant imagine they would all agree to it.

    Rogue traders, the cook report to think of just two.

    Perhaps the answer is that people cannot be made to react or talk to 'the cameras' so they can simply walk away.

    The trouble at work would be, they are filming in situations where you simply cant walk away.

    In that case, I would think that you could address the issue there and then.

    i.e your filmed talking to a person who needs help. You say sorry to them for a moment and then inform the camera that you are trying to work and wish them to go away. If they dont, you esculate it to your manager.

    I know it might sound stupid - but imagine if, instead of a film crew, it was some roudy drunk or nosey busy body standing next to you - how would you deal with them ?

    This is a very interesting subject though.

    All the best

    Steve
     
    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 By: steve23 Member since: Feb 19, 2007
    #17
  18. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy Moderator
    Verified Business ✔️

    15,826 6,855
    Sorry guys but the human rights law DOES apply to your place of work.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/ResolvingWorkplaceDisputes/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026574

    Taken from the goernments own website. :)
     
    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #18
  19. steve23

    steve23 UKBF Ace

    707 149
    Oh, I would agree the HRA applies - but not sure if this would count as a breach of your privacy (or at least sufficient enought to warrant protection under the act)

    My (laymans) understanding of it is that privacy has to be of a level that you would reasonably expect.

    So if you work with the public or an area open to others you should expect a lesser degree of privacy than if you were at home in bed etc.

    Allowing the cameras to film in the toilet area etc would however, be a clear breach of privacy.

    All the best

    Steve
     
    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 By: steve23 Member since: Feb 19, 2007
    #19
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  20. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy Moderator
    Verified Business ✔️

    15,826 6,855
    I would argue that as a private individual I would not choose to be on national TV as that would impact on my right to privacy.

    It is a tricky one. But I think the employers are far more likely to be concerned about the added implications of the HRA.
     
    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #20
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.