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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47340
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My employer has set a number of forthcoming mandatory training

Customer Question

My employer has set a number of forthcoming mandatory training days with an external supplier who specialises is sales performance improvement.

We have used this provider previous and they made a number of false and misleading statements about me, to my employer. Due to this, the trust and confidence between me and them has broken down. I made my employer aware of this and told them I would be very uncomfortable ever using the company again.

I have also leaned the forthcoming training will be filmed and I have advised my employer that: A) I do not want to attend the training because the trust and confidence has broken down and
B) That I do not provide my consent to being filmed and that being filmed or being required to use this provider, would make me feel extremely uncomfortable and cause me distress.

How can I legally refuse to participate and avoided potential disciplinary?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.
JACUSTOMER-e9nzqsau- : 4 years
JACUSTOMER-e9nzqsau- : excellent track record/perforfence.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier. First of all I need to make it clear that nothing will guarantee that the employer does not take this down the disciplinary route. Even if you have a valid argument about this, they can still discipline you and it would then come down to you appealing this and challenging it in other ways, such as through a grievance or even resignation and a claim for constructive dismissal.

In terms of the reasons for you not wanting to attend this training, what you have mentioned is a valid reason, although not one that would necessarily force the employer to get a new trainer in just to cover the training that you need to take. What would be relevant also is the importance of this training and whether it is something that is essential for you to have to go through. For example, if it is not imperative that you go through this, the employer could agree to forego this requirement and allow you not to attend it.

The issue you face is that there is no legal way of refusing to participate in this training session - it is all a matter of opinion - your opinion that you do not feel comfortable doing it, and the employer's opinion that you should attend it, especially if your contract says that you are expected to attend training sessions.

Therefore, the only real way to try and prevent this is by negotiation with the employer, making it very clear about your reasons for not wanting to attend this and then if they do take any formal action against you - by appealing it first and considering whether to go down the formal grievance route.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you but this i know. What im looking to establish is the position regarding the fact i have informed my employer that i do not provide my consent to be video recorded. Where do i stand on this?

Im aware of the rules regarding processing data but in this case its the capture.

How would the dda or hra apply?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
The Data Protection Act will be relevant here. Videotaping you would amount to processing of personal data and should only really be carried out with your consent, unless it was being done in public. However, this will be a private function. Saying that, the personal data issues will only apply if you can be readily identified from the footage, so if you are part of a large group then the data protection laws may not be relevant. If, on the other hand, the footage focuses directly on you, or a small group, which you are part of, then you can withhold your consent to be recorded.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What if my employer disregard my wishes?

Is there also a potential harassment element? Ie, I have made the employer aware that the misleading comments made caused me distress. I feel harassed by it. To force me to engage would exsassabate this for me. The employer has a duty of car ?

The prospect of being vedio recoded also causes me distress and makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Would this have merit and how could I best set this out?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
This is not a harassment issue as it has not occurred enough times to be classed as such. Whilst your employer cannot force you to attend, your refusal to do so could prompt them to seek disciplinary action against you. It is then that you will be able to deal with this in a more formal manner. For now all you can do is refuse and also think of raising a grievance.