Public Complaints Policy
Magnum Statement on Making Complaints
Magnum is committed to working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and confidence with those in our industry. In relation to any possible violations of Magnum’s Code of Conduct, this means providing open channels for reporting, following a fair procedure, and showing care and consideration throughout. This new policy describes the routes by which members of the public can report concerns and sets out how complaints are taken forward. More information about how this policy relates to the Code of Conduct can be found at the end of the page.
Public Complaints Policy and Procedure
Magnum Photos International, Inc., Magnum Global Ventures, Inc., and their affiliated companies (collectively, “Magnum”) is committed to fostering a respectful and dignified environment free of discrimination, harassment, and improper conduct of any kind which is prohibited in Magnum’s Code of Conduct (the ‘Code’).
Pursuant to the Code, Magnum’s Public Complaints Policy and Procedure (the ‘Policy’) sets forth the actions that Members of the Public (defined below) can and are encouraged to take if they experience or witness inappropriate behaviour by a Magnum Photographer or Employee, including behaviour that could be harassing or discriminatory. The policy also sets forth the action Magnum shall take to investigate the complaint and to determine any consequences for Photographers or Employees who are found to have violated the Code.
‘Members of the Public’ refers to anyone who directly or indirectly comes into contact with Magnum Photographers or Employees, including but not limited to photographic assistants, studio managers, collaborators, mentees, workshop students, and event attendees, as well as friends and relatives of those people.
‘Photographers’ refers to all photographers who are represented by Magnum including Members, Associates, Nominees, Contributors, Correspondents, Representatives of Estates, or photographers otherwise associated with Magnum.
‘Employees’ are individuals employed by Magnum in any Magnum office, including also non-employees that provide services to Magnum pursuant to a contract. Accordingly, any references in this Policy to “Employees” should be interpreted, for the purposes of interpreting this Policy only, to also include all workers, contractors and interns. Such references, however, should not be construed to confer employment rights to contractors or interns, nor should they be construed to imply that contractors and interns in any Magnum office are considered “Employees”.
All Photographers and Employees should familiarize themselves with the Policy and will be required to abide by the Policy. The Policy will be posted on Magnum’s website, www.magnumphotos.com.
To protect the individuals involved in any investigation, details of any complaint and/or investigation shall be maintained confidential by Magnum to the extent reasonably possible. If the circumstances that give rise to the complaint are such that it is not possible to maintain confidentiality, with each complaint judged on its own merit, the situation will be explained to the person making the complaint.
Magnum may at its sole discretion make limited public statements about specific cases, including announcing the outcome of any disciplinary process if for example a Photographer is temporarily suspended or permanently expelled from Magnum.
C. Complaints Procedure
Members of the Public who believe that they may have been the subject of any type of harassment, discrimination, or improper behaviour by a Magnum Photographer or Employee in violation of Magnum’s Code of Conduct, or who have witnessed or learned of such conduct, are encouraged to make a complaint. Whilst Magnum encourages Members of the Public to report an incident as soon as possible after the event, Magnum recognises that in some cases this is not a reasonable expectation and Magnum does not impose a time limit for making reports.
Magnum Photographers or Employees seeking to make a complaint against another Photographer or Employee for violations of the Code of Conduct shall do so using Magnum’s internal procedures.
To Whom Should a Complaint be Made?
There are three possible reporting routes available to Members of the Public who wish to make a complaint:
• To Magnum’s Chief Executive Officer and the President of Magnum using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org;
• To the independent speak-up hotline, Safecall, at any one of the following freephone numbers:
1 866 901 3295 (US)
00 800 72332255 (France)
0800 915 1571 (UK)
Other global freephone numbers can be found here: https://www.safecall.co.uk/file-a-report/telephone-numbers. Safecall’s lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and language translation services are available. Calls will not be audio recorded and anonymity will be guaranteed should the person making the complaint wish. Reports can also be made to Safecall via the web on https://www.safecall.co.uk/file-a-report/;
• To a nominated person or persons who may be appointed from time to time by Magnum to investigate specific cases of misconduct and whose details will be published on Magnum’s website, https://www.magnumphotos.com/.
If a Member of the Public wishes to make a complaint about the President of Magnum, or the Chief Executive Officer, they can do so by contacting Safecall and requesting that the report is shared only with Magnum’s Chief Financial Officer who shall then alert the appropriate board member whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
Magnum Photographers and Employees who become aware of violations of this Code are required report all such violations to the President of Magnum and the Chief Executive Officer, and it may be a violation of the Code not to do so.
For the avoidance of doubt, in the case of a violation occurring at a workshop or event, Members of the Public are encouraged to make a formal complaint via one of the three reporting channels above. Whilst a victim may discuss an incident with a Photographer, Employee, Magnum assistant, or fellow student, this shall not be considered by Magnum as a formal report until it has been notified through one of the channels above.
Whilst Magnum shall make every reasonable effort to follow up on unspecified rumours related to violations of the Code of Conduct by Photographers or Employees of which Magnum is aware, it is often not possible to progress the matter without a specific complaint from an identified person.
If a formal complaint is made by a Member of the Public in good faith, Magnum will appoint a person who may be internal or external to the company to find out all they reasonably can about the issue and gather evidence from all sides. This is known as an ‘investigation’.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, Magnum may, if appropriate, temporarily suspend the Photographer or Employee against whom a complaint is made for the period of the investigation pending the outcome.
Investigations shall be conducted impartially, and as promptly and thoroughly as reasonably possible. Photographers and Employees shall be expected to cooperate with any investigation, and it may be a violation of the Code to refuse in any way to do so.
Photographers and Employees and other personnel are also required to keep any information related to an investigation confidential to the greatest extent possible, though this is not intended to prevent them from reporting complaints to Magnum or to third parties if such reports facilitate compliance with the rules of this Code or local applicable laws.
During the course of an investigation, and with the prior permission of the person making the complaint, the individual against whom a complaint has been made shall be informed of what is alleged and given the opportunity to present their side of the matter.
The findings of the investigation together with any recommendations shall be set out in a written investigation report.
E. Disciplinary Action
In the case of a complaint against a Photographer, the investigation report will be made available to the President of Magnum, the Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Magnum Photos International (the “Board”), or any committee or person(s) appointed by the Board as appropriate. The Photographer against whom the complaint was made will also receive a copy of the investigation report.
In the event that the complaint is about the President of Magnum or the Chief Executive Officer, the report will be sent instead to a nominated board member maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
Whilst it is the goal of Magnum to allow decisions to be made with the fullest information possible, the investigation report may be redacted in places to protect the individuals who cooperated with the investigation. For the same reason, members of Magnum’s Board, as well as the Photographer in question, may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement, though this is not intended to prevent them from giving further evidence, nor to report complaints to Magnum or to third parties if such reports facilitate compliance with the rules of this Code or local applicable laws.
Having received a copy of the investigation report, a Photographer shall be invited to provide a final written and/or verbal statement to Magnum’s Board, or any committee or person(s) appointed by the Board as appropriate, and will be permitted to have legal counsel present.
Having taken all findings into account, the Board, or any committee or person(s) appointed by the Board as appropriate, shall then adjourn to decide fairly and impartially whether it believes the behaviour of the Photographer was in violation of the Code. If by a preponderance of the evidence a Photographer is found to have violated the Code, the Photographer may be subject to sanctions which range from a written reminder concerning future conduct to temporary suspension or permanent expulsion from Magnum’s membership.
The decision of what if any sanction is appropriate in a particular case is taken by Magnum’s Board, or any committee or person(s) appointed by the Board as appropriate, and shall be based exclusively on the evidence presented. A number of factors will be considered in making this determination including the severity of the matter and the circumstances surrounding the facts, including any aggravating or mitigating factors.
If it is determined by Magnum’s Board, or any committee or person(s) appointed by the Board as appropriate, that the appropriate sanction in a particular case is expulsion of a Photographer from Magnum’s membership, this recommendation must be ratified by the membership of Magnum in accordance with Magnum’s by-laws.
Once a final decision has been made the Photographer shall be notified of the outcome in writing as soon as reasonably possible, and the person making the complaint may also be notified if appropriate.
In the case of complaints made by Members of the Public against Employees, all procedures, including those in relation to sanctions, will be taken in accordance with Magnum’s internal processes as set out in the Employee Handbook.
Any decision taken by Magnum in relation to disciplinary action is without prejudice to any rights that a Photographer, Employee, or person making the complaint may have under local applicable law, and Magnum will comply with all of its legal obligations in connection with any such report.
Where Magnum considers that a violation of the Code may amount to a criminal offence, Magnum reserves the right to inform the appropriate authority
The Code prohibits retaliation (also known as “victimisation”) against anyone who has made a good faith complaint or report of a violation of the Code, or has participated in an investigation, or in proceedings under any applicable anti-discrimination law.
Retaliation comes in many forms, including, but not limited to, disciplining or poorly evaluating the person who complains, without appropriate substantiation for such poor review; changing the work assignments of, providing inaccurate work information to, or refusing to discuss work-related matters with the person who complains; or blocking a promotion or attempting to use one’s position for the purpose of interfering with the right to make protected disclosures to governmental or other authorities.
All such retaliation is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action and/or sanctions up to and including expulsion from Magnum or termination of employment.
G. Amendments and Updates
To the extent that this Policy differs from anything in the Employee Handbooks, this Policy controls and supersedes the Employee Handbook. This Policy shall be amended and updated at Magnum’s discretion. Magnum shall distribute the Policy to other personnel (e.g. contractors, partners, suppliers, and interns) as appropriate, inform Photographers and Employees of any changes that are made to the Policy, and publish the Policy on the website, www.magnumphotos.com. It is the responsibility of Photographers and Employees to regularly review and to familiarise themselves with the requirements contained herein.
This policy is next due for a general review on the above date. It may however be reviewed and updated earlier, in the event of a change in requirements, including changes to relevant legislation.
Notes on 2021 revisions:
In the course of reviewing the Code of Conduct, Magnum saw the need for a standalone complaints policy giving members of the public more guidance to about how to make a report. Whilst reporting details were previously published on Magnum’s website, the Public Complaints Policy and Procedure now brings this into one place and describes how complaints are taken forward.
Magnum is committed to open dialogue and we welcome any suggestions for further strengthening and improving our policies. Suggestions can be addressed to email@example.com.
Other related policies: Code of Conduct