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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49819
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was suspended from work pending an investigation into the

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I was suspended from work pending an investigation into the matter, and a former colleague with no connection to the new work place or those involved with the investigation contacted me asking if "the rumours were true about (you) being removed from (your) post" - does this break confidentiality or data protection? Has my employer failed in their duty? I have spoken to no-one about this apart from my wife so the only source must have been my employer.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer: Nearly a year
Ben Jones :

Do you actually know who in the organisation may have disclosed that information?

Customer: No, but my former colleague couldn't have been part of the investigation so I don't understand how it can be such general knowledge.
Ben Jones :

This is unlikely to be a data protection breach because that would involve breaching confidentiality of personal data which is stored on a relevant filing system, so it would be something that is stored on specific filing systems, for example details from your application form, other personal data stored on a computer database and so on. If it was just details being spread around for the fact you were suspended, then it is unlikely to amount to personal data protected under data protection, at least not just yet.


Nevertheless the employer does have a duty to maintain the mutual term of trust and confidence, which is something that automatically exists in every employment relationship. The problem is that to be able to pursue a breach of that term you need to have at least 2 years’ employment with the employer, because the only claim you could make is for constructive dismissal and the 2 years is a formal requirement to be able to claim that. That does unfortunately mean that you could be treated unfairly and the employer could act in a way that this trust and confidence is breached and you won’t be able to pursue the matter outside of your employment. You can still challenge the employer internally but you are then relying on their efficiency in dealing with the issue – if that does not provide the outcome you were hoping for, your options of pursuing this further become somewhat limited.

Customer: No that's great just wanted to know where I stood on the matter as things appear to have been resolved. Thanks for your help.
Ben Jones :

No problem, hope it clarified your position

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