Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Can you please tell me how long you have worked there for?
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Hi there, the information contained in the letter would have been personal data protected under the Data Protection Act. Even if it is in the public domain it does not mean it is not protected and the last couple of paragraphs of the first page on the Data Protection policy summarise this quite well.
So whilst there is a potential breach here, there are also mitigating factors which you can use in your defence. First of all, this was done following a request by the customer that you do so. Therefore you can say that they have specifically waived their right to privacy in the circumstances by asking you to leave the invoice on the desk.
There were also no losses suffered by the customer or business and the only person who took the invoice and saw the information inside it as the customer, to who this data relates. So it is not like you left it there and an unrelated third party took it – the intended recipient took it and their privacy was not breached.
So all in all, this could be a misconduct offence but not one which should be considered serious enough to justify dismissal. The employer should perhaps issue a warning to warn you about your actions and ensure you do not breach these rules again and only repeat offending should result in dismissal.
Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss your rights should this result in dismissal. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.
A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.
If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.
The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:
In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.