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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can my company (now very recently ex company), share my full

Customer Question

Can my company (now very recently ex company), share my full employment contract with full salary, terms and conditions with an external third party company (even if that company is under an NDA agreement)? If not can I sue for compensation or breach of privacy rights?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

How long ago did you leave? Please can you also tell me how long you worked there and whether you have actually been advised that your employment details will be shared?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi it appears you posted the response to this as a new quesiton and I have only just seen it. I will post it on here so I have it for reference and will close the separate quesiton you opened.

For Ben Jones : I have been with the company for 13 months. I have never been told that my details would be shared. I found this out from the third party company who thought that it was strange and at the very least a breach of data protection or privacy rules

Whilst this may indeed be a data protection breach, you cannot just make a claim about it. The law says that if a party has acted in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), then anyone who has suffered damage or distress as a result can potentially make a claim.

The first step is to report the alleged contravention to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the regulatory body that deals with breaches of data protection regulations and can investigate and fine the infringing party. However they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and get any compensation is by going through court.

If the victim has only suffered distress and no financial damages, compensation is not available unless the breach related to the “special purposes” which means it was related to the processing of artistic, literary or journalistic information. Any other breaches will not qualify. Your breach was not for any of these purposes so unless you can show that you have suffered any losses as a result of the breach, you cannot make a claim for compensation.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on taking this further if you have suffered losses, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Ben,The company receiving my contract was potentially my new employer so, in actual fact I believe that this is bad for me because he has been exposed to the full details of my employment with my company (we are not parting on the best of terms) and therefore I am not only embarrassed, but potentially the new company will not hire me because of this.I am happy to lodge a complaint with the relevant authority as you have suggested (I might need a bit of help here), however I am seeking compensation because I am also owed severance pay from my existing company and this may be a way to force the issue or gain compensation another way. Unfortunately they have money for a legal team and I am being taken advantage of.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I suppose the question is what can I do in this case? Do I have a claim (or counter claim against them), can the company be in a breach of confidentiality and be prosecuted under the law?Regards, Martin
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi there, you cannot prosecute them for a breach in confidentiality - as mentioned the ICO deals with breaches of data protection and they decide what happens, whether they are fined for example. The only claim you can make is to sue them for losses incurred from the breach – you say that you may not employed by the new company as a result – if you have evidence to back that up then that is the only potential claim that can be made, covering some loss of earnings. Of course if you were to find a new job that pays more or less the same anyway then you would not have suffered losses so a claim is pointless.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Ben,Much appreciated. I will report them to the ICO and let them decide on sanctions. It is a pity that this could not help me, because ultimately I will secure a new job which will pay similarly but for now and the next few months I will be out of pocket and financially in dire straits.Kind regards
Martin
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello Martin, remember that you can still take your own legal action against them but it is down to you to prove that the breach resulted in you incurring losses (i.e. not getting a job as a direct result of what they did) and that you could not mitigate your losses (i.e. that you tried your best but could not stop being out of a job)

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Ben,It is a bit of a "catch 22" situation. I will eventually get a job negating the need for compensation although I will be out of a job for about 2 months which is worrying. Also, I do not have the funds to engage a legal process so this discussion is actually moot. :-(Thanks for your help anyway. I will report them to the ICO and as they are a cyber security company that will be embarrassment enough for them and their legal counsel, who should have advised them in the first place against sharing my personal details to third parties.Regards,
Martin
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

You are welcome, all the best!

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