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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48745
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have had a HR issue against me. I was buying and selling

Resolved Question:

I have had a HR issue against me. I was buying and selling clothes online on a separate page to my facebook page but they are attached. My personal page is private but the selling page is public and the email address is my personal email address. One of the items was counterfeit and the company I work for have an issue with that! In my defence the items were posted in Feb 2014 and not updated until April or June 2014 and nothing since. Someone reported that one counterfeit item to compliance and they started an investigation that since working there for 3 months I have had 17 items delivered and it may seem as though I have a business outside work which is against my employment contract. My major concern is of my personal email address. NO ONE from my current work place know I have a facebook page and my email address, only the people that recruited me and interviewed me. It definitely can not be friends as NO ONE knows where I work and I have not added any NEW friends since working there!

I have had an issue with a colleague who I felt has been trying his best to not have me around and I have reported this issue with an acting manager and HR and handed in my notice as he has tried his best to hug all the work - I have by accident sent him an email from my personal email address to his work email...so I do feel it may be him

Do I have a case against them on personal data being used??

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked ther for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just over 3 months and I am yet to pass probation. The conversation with HR was said to be informal but miutes were taken and no email or letter of what the conversation was going to be about nor was I allowed someone to attend with me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
I’m afraid it would be rather difficult to take any action against them for using your personal email address to find you. This is not a case of them using personal information about you which they had asked for and had to keep confidential. For example, if they had collected your email address when they recruited you but later used it for an investigation into these allegations, you could argue that they had not used it for e purposes for which it was collected and that could amount to a breach of data protection. However, in the circumstances you personally gave the email to a colleague and that person would not have been under any obligation to keep it confidential. They would not be subject to any data protection requirements so they could have given it to the employer and they could then use it to investigate allegations against you. The is no breach of privacy here – you gave them the email and you would have had no legal expectation on the recipient to keep it confidential because it was all done in a personal capacity, not a formal business one where you had given it to someone in a formal manner.
Even if you could have shown that a breach of data protection had occurred you cannot just sue them and seek compensation. You must show that some losses had occurred as a result. You have not suffered losses here – you have left your job but that is not a loss you can attribute to the breach. So a claim would not really bring you any benefits anyway. As such there is very little that can be done legally in this situation.
Also the employer has not actually done anything wrong with the meting. You do not have the right to be accompanied at an investigatory meeting and even if you were not allowed that chance when you should have, you cannot challenge it until you have 2 years service.
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
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