Could your use of employee photos be in breach of GDPR?

Using photos and video recordings of employees can be a good way to promote your business, but what are the legal issues Watford employers should consider?


Consent will not always be necessary but is often seen as a 'safer' option. Any consent will have to meet the GDPR standards of being "freely given, specific and informed". A form that simply states "by signing below you consent to us taking photos of you" is not compliant.

Intellectual Property

An employee's participation can create both IP rights and 'moral' rights (such as the right to be identified as the author). As such, you should ask your employees to assign those IP rights to you and to waive any moral rights.


If you use a professional photographer, check that your contract gives you full ownership of any and all IP rights in the work. This is an important point as the photographer will retain ownership unless the contract says otherwise.

IP Infringement Liability

IP infringement liability may be passed to you via use or ownership of the work created. Consider including extra protection in the contract with the photographer to protect yourself.


A licence to use the images won't always be enough. For example, if the contract gives you a licence to use the photographs in a recruitment brochure and you use them on your corporate website, you could be in breach of copyright and at risk of a claim from the photographer. Watford employers should therefore seek wide-ranging terms in any licence which allow full flexibility on a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free basis regarding use of the work.

  • Laura Barrell is an associate at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford.