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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, I have received a job offer subject to checks (contract),

Customer Question

Hi,

I have received a job offer subject to checks (contract), however the hr dept have come back an said thier 3rd party company have said there is a ccj registered against me from 2010.

Knowing nothing about this i duly checked all register of judgements and fines to find nothing registered against me.

I have handed in notice with my current contract that has 3 months to run, only to now find myself out of a job with no chance of an income.

I am clear this is the fault of the 3rd party Northgate Arosino holding incorrect information about me.

What are my rights, next steps.

Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve?
JACUSTOMER-4mao5lz4- : I would like to get information corrected and also be compensated for loss of earnings.
Ben Jones :

Has the job offer now been withdrawn?

JACUSTOMER-4mao5lz4- : Yes it has.
Ben Jones :

So was this just a credit check that they provided to the employer?

JACUSTOMER-4mao5lz4- : I don't believe so as nothing adverse is on my credit files. I am not sure where northgate obtained the information.
Ben Jones :

This will potentially be a negligence matter by the company that provided the checks to the employer. The employer will not be at fault here because they made the offer conditional on these checks and then used information supplied to them by a third party. So any claim would be against this third party who supplied the incorrect information.

To be successful in pursuing this you would need to show that they owed you a duty of care, that this duty was breached and that this breach caused you to suffer losses.

The issue is that very recent case law has suggested that credit reference agencies do not owe a duty of care to the individuals they provide information on. Whilst I am not entirely certain whether this was a credit reference agency in this case, the principle is the same - this is a company which has been engaged by a third party to provide checks on an individual.

You will see details of this case here:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=092335b2-e0a3-4961-87e2-bad6996c2a96

In particular note the following comment: "Credit references do not assume responsibility to every member of the public simply because of the nature of the business they operate."

However you may see that there is mention of extra protection under the Data Protection Act. The fourth principle of the DPA says that “personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”. However, there is a defence to this which provides that the principle is not breached where the data controller has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the data.

In summary, you have a couple of options in pursuing this - one by claiming a breach of the DPA, one by claiming under the tort of negligence in common law. The DPA can be defended if the company an show they took reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the data and the negligence claim looks unlikely to succeed due to the recent case I mentioned above. So the issue is what steps did they take to ensure the accuracy of the data and that is what any potential claim may hinge on.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

JACUSTOMER-4mao5lz4- : Interesting thanks, I have since found out it was a CRA callcredit, but clearly they have not kept their information up to date and accurate, so I may have a case for DPA.
JACUSTOMER-4mao5lz4- : Should I report to the information commissioner. In the first instance or just go straight via a solicitors letter?
Ben Jones :

You can report this to the ICO but all they can do is take enforcement action against them and possible fine them. They will not compensate you. if you wanted to seek compensation for a DPA breach then it is for you to pursue this matter. You do not have to use a solicitor straight away and can send the initial letter yourself, identifying the breach, stating the consequences of it and the losses suffered, then ask for compensation. if you see that this is not going anywhere then you can consider engaging a solicitor to pursue this for you

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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