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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75097
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can you advise under what circumstances a GDPR breach would

Customer Question

Can you advise under what circumstances a GDPR breach would lead to dismissal. The breach was unintentional, non malicious in intent and simple human error?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Initial conversation with line manager!
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Emoyees!
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that i can think ok!
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Just over 5 years!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

A dismissal, without prior warnings, should only happen if there has been a case of gross misconduct. This is something serious enough to justify instant dismissal, although there is no specific list of offences and potentially anything can qualify, if it is serious enough.

A GDPR breach can amount to gross misconduct but the circumstances of the offence should also be considered. For example, factors that would be relevant include: what data was breached and what was the scale of the breach; how sensitive was the data; what impact it had on the employer or their customers, suppliers, staff, etc; did the employee not follow policies and procedures in the process; were there clear steps that were missed that would have prevented this; what caused the error and are there any mitigating factors.

There are many other factors that could be relevant but this is just an idea of what an Employment Tribunal may look at if they are faced with an unfair dismissal claim because of such a dismissal.

In the end, all that can be done is defend the allegations to the best of your ability, but if a dismissal occurs then you have to look at an unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Before a claim can be made against the employer in the Employment Tribunal, the affected employee would be required to participate in a process known as ‘early conciliation’, which is administered through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the employee and their employer to agree on an out-of-court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in the Employment Tribunal. The employer does not have to engage in these discussions and the process is voluntary for them. If they refuse to participate, or the conciliation is unsuccessful, the employee will be issued with a certificate by ACAS allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the employee would officially agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be included as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

In order to initiate the early conciliation procedure, ACAS must be contacted, either online by filling in the following form (https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-#### They will explain the process and what happens next and get the ball rolling on your behalf.

If the early conciliation process was not successful, ACAS have issued a certificate to confirm that and you still wanted to make a formal claim in the Employment Tribunal, the claim can be initiated via the following link:

https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.