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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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When your employer e-mails your contract documents to the

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When your employer e-mails your contract documents to the site where you are based but to the site office of the company that own the site, without your permission or previous knowledge and without the site owners request , and the contract document includes your personal joint account banking details , is this a Breach in the Data Protection Act

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

What reason, if any, has the employer provided for doing this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He had no reason , but there were 4 years of countless request for the contract to be supplied to me .The manager seemed not to understand implications of his actions as if he was not aware of the DPA

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Thank you for your patience. This can indeed amount to a DPA breach as your personal data has not been kept secure and has been disclosed to unauthorised third parties.

The first step is to consider reporting the alleged breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the regulatory body that deals with data protection breaches and have certain powers at their disposal to deal with them. However they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and do this is by going through court.

To be able to claim compensation the victim must usually show that they have suffered financial damage as a result of the breach. However, a recent ruling said that damages for distress can also be made even if no financial losses have been suffered. As this is quite a recent development the practicalities of doing so are yet to be considered.

So if there have been financial losses or just distress suffered, the case can potentially be taken to court. I would not recommend that this is done straight away and suggest trying to reach some kind of compromise with the violating party. However, if that is not possible and court appears to be the only recourse then this page contains useful information on how take a claim for data protection breaches to court:

http://legalbeagles.info/data-protection-act-taking-a-case-to-court/

Remember that court should only be used as a last resort and assuming all other attempts to try and resolve the matter have failed.

Another route is the internal one, where you pursue the employer through a formal grievance and even consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal if the trust between you and the employer has been broken beyond repair.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow if you are considering constructive dismissal. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

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Thank you. As mentioned, this could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:

· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who resigns in response to it.

Whilst the alleged breach could be a breach of a specific contractual term, it is also common for a breach to occur when the implied term of trust and confidence has been broken. The conduct relied on could be a serious single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

Before constructive dismissal is contemplated, it is recommended that a formal grievance is raised in order to officially bring the concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them.

If resignation appears to be the only option going forward, it must be done in response to the alleged breaches (i.e. without unreasonable delay after they have occurred). Whilst not legally required, a resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without serving any notice period. It is also advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of termination of employment to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

It is worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.