How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 55131
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I fear a major employer in West Sussex is not giving my

This answer was rated:

I fear a major employer in West Sussex is not giving my applications fair consideration. I have applied for a number of roles I am well qualified for without any success or explanation or feedback (which I have repeatedly asked for)Can I ask what information/paperwork they hold on me ?

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

Do you know why they may be treating you in this way?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Ben, sorry no (I am happy to say who they are) I am worried that they have decided my 'face does not fit' prior to applications (for management roles)| and I want to try to find out if they have an evidence trail against me ?

Thank you. Employers generally have the right to choose who they employ and can make such decisions based on a relatively wide range of factors. There could be a number of reasons why one candidate is chosen in preference to others or why someone is not given a job, even if they are generally considered to be the best or most suitable candidate. In fact, it is generally lawful for the employer to use whatever factors they feel are relevant and appropriate in the circumstances to arrive at that decision.

The only requirement in law is that the employer’s decision is not based on discriminatory grounds. This means that they should not base their decision on what are known as ‘protected characteristics’. These include things like gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc. If their decision is based on or linked to any of these characteristics, there will be a potential case of discrimination and the affected person can potentially take this further. However, in the absence of any discriminatory reasons, the employer will rarely be acting unlawfully and will have the general power to be selective over whom it employs, even if it this generally appears to be unfair.

In terms of trying to find out what they have on you, you can always approach them and make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 for them to disclose any personal data they hold about you. Whilst legally they should disclose that, if it is something unofficial and only a handful of people know about it and there is no other evidence to suggest it exists, they can potentially just say they have nothing on you and simply refuse to disclose it. Without evidence it exists, it would be very difficult to actually take action against them and argue that they are deliberately withholding it, especially as they can destroy it quite easily if necessary.

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 procedure you need to follow to make such a request. 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

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you I will leave a very positive rating. I would be grateful to know the procedure to make such a request

Thank you. If an organisation holds personal data about an individual, section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 entitles that person to request copies of such data. The process is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR).

If a SAR needs to be made, the individual needs to write to the organisation which holds the data in question. It would be useful to check if there is a dedicated data protection officer to whom such requests need to be addressed. If not, it can be sent to their general correspondence address. The SAR letter should include the following information:

· Make it clear that a 'subject access request under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998' is being made

· Provide details of the data for which copies are requested, together with any information necessary to locate it.

· The individual’s main personal details - full name, date of birth, address and contact number

· Copy of any identification to identify the individual, such as passport or driving licence

· A cheque or postal order for £10 to cover the maximum amount they may charge for the provision of these documents

Once the formal request has been correctly made, the organisation must respond within 40 days.