Can employers make you use a camera when you work from home.


When I accepted my current job I was not told about this, but part way through my resignation period of my previous employer I was told by my future employer that they allocate tablets to all remote workers so that they can use the camera on the tablet to allow the team to feel like they're in a virtual office. I was a bit annoyed I wasn't told up front because I probably would have turned the role down as if feels more like video surveillance. I'm happy to turn my webcam on for teams calls etc, but don't want/need a camera pointed at me all day, it would make me feel very uncomfortable. I'm out of my probation and there is no mention of this in my contract of employment.

Just wandered how I stand legally if I refuse to use this tablet? 


  • DE_612183DE_612183 Forumite
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    so are you in the new job now?

    how long have you been on probation?

    why is this a problem now?
  • DaveariaDavearia Forumite
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    I've been in the job just over 9 months, so been out of probation just over 2 months. I only got my tablet sent to me about 3 months ago and haven't set it up, but recently my manager was asking why I was not using it and I told him I was not comfortable with what is effectively CCTV in my own house. It seems that everybody is using them and I'm the odd one out.

    If I don't have to use this I will refuse, if I do I will use the tablet while I'm looking for another job.

    Just wanted to know how I stand legally with this situation please?
  • penners324penners324 Forumite
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    Just set it up and put some tale over the camera lens 
  • piesagittariusstickpiesagittariusstick Forumite
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    At the beginning of your post, you mention that your future employer "told you" about using tablets to create a virtual office. How was this tidbit passed on to you - via verbal communication, email, or was there a line for it in a contract? In case it was the latter, how exactly is it phrased? Similarly, how are the overall working conditions and your day-to-day tasks explained in the contract? Is it detailed or pretty vague? 

    As I see it, your chances of finding a "legal wiggle room" around the surveillance-like issue increase the less vague the contract is. 
  • Merlin139Merlin139 Forumite
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    When you said you were not comfortable using the tablet what was your managers reply?  

    Cannot see what the problem is here. If you were working in an office environment then you could be seen by all the other people there and may well be being monitored by CCTV.

    How is that any different to a tablet with a camera on it?
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  • edited 25 October 2022 at 9:26AM
    DaveariaDavearia Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2022 at 9:26AM
    So when I put my resignation in at my previous employer, I was serving a 3 months resignation period. In that time I had a few calls with a couple of managers in the job I'm in now just to keep in touch etc. It was during one of these calls where a manager mentioned and showed me one of these tablets. Until then I knew nothing about them and was too late to reject the job as I'd already resigned. Nowhere in my contract can I see any mention of using a tablet.

    The working conditions apart from this matter are ok, they seems really happy with me and I get on well with them.
  • SusieTSusieT Forumite
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    How about you use a big screen plugged into the tablet for viewing, place the tablet flat on the desk, and give them a nice video of the ceiling? You can use the tablet as a keyboard and problem solved.
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  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Stick the cat in front of it for the day! :)

    Just set it up and avoid it, work just out of view, so they see just your arm or similar, large pot plant, book case.
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  • edited 25 October 2022 at 12:26PM
    tripledtripled Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2022 at 12:26PM
    You have been in your job for less than two years, so you can be given notice by your employer and have no recourse to unfair dismissal. You can let your manager know you are not comfortable with it, but if they insist, you may not have much of a choice but to accept the camera (until you find a new job), or risk getting the sack.
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