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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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A past employer is refusing to give me copies of emails that

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A past employer is refusing to give me copies of emails that I made have been the subject of prior to redundancy They have refused to cooperate for the last 18 months ,even though I have told them it is my right under the Data Protection Act . I believe they are hiding something

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Whose emails were they?

Customer: They may have been between the managers and the sales director I was told "off the record " that the then MD wanted rid of me I was made redundant even though the area I worked was growing sales wise
Ben Jones :

Why do you need these emails, how will you use them?

Customer: I think I was unfairly selected for redundancy It might be these emails will show I was selected purely on the basis of not been liked by the MD also it is my right to see anything that I might have been the subject of As an aside the company involved is the original maker of the drug Thalidomide , and they have a checkered history of not being shall we say up front about the side effects of that drug I just feel they are hiding something I could use against them
Ben Jones :

When were you made redundant?

Customer: May 25th 2012
Ben Jones :

So do you wish to use the emails to determine whether you have the right to challenge the redundancy?

Customer: Yes and no I realise you only have 6 month window to appeal But if I can prove I was selected in a purely subjective way I could claim so sort of compensation from them as they dragged their feet in supplying the info I asked them for the emails in Sept 2012
Ben Jones :

6 months to appeal where exactly?

Customer: I was under the impression that legally you only have 6 months to challenge a wrongful dismissal that's what my union said they were uninterested in fighting my corner Surely the fact that the company won't comply with my request is indicative of them hiding something?.
Ben Jones :

You only have 3 months to claim wrongful or unfair dismissal so any claim you may have had is now out of time. Even if you get any emails or other evidence to suggest you were unfairly selected and dismissed foe redundancy, you are too late to make any legal claim to challenge that. So even if you find the most incriminating evidence you could, you will have no legal leg to stand on in terms of challenging the dismissal or seeking compensation in relation to it. As such pursuing the employer for the emails will be a pointless exercise in this particular situation. Whether they are hiding something or not is irrelevant at this stage as it is simply not legally possible to challenge the dismissal in any way at this stage.


Even if you continued to pursue them and they refused to provide copies, the only thing you can do is to make a claim for their failure to do this. However you can only claim if you can show that you have suffered losses as a result of this failure to provide copes. You have not suffered any losses from this and as such would not be able to make a claim for that – any losses would have been in relation to the dismissal, not in relation to the failure to provide the emails.

Customer: Thanks it seems so wrong Because if I had the emails when I wanted them I might have been able to show the redundancy was unlawful I guess the only crime they have committed is non compliance with the Data Protection Act I guess it's not worth me pursuing it as all they may get is a fine and ill end up with a legal bill !! Thanks anyway I guess big pharma can't be beaten this time !!
Ben Jones :

at this stage breach of the DPA will be the only claim and you must prove actual losses before you can claim, even if they get fined you won't be compensated by the regulatory body and must pursue your own claim against them. It is unfortunate you have missed the relevant deadlines

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