Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.
With regard to the breach of confidentiality, the latest version of the Data Protection Act (DPA) is the current legislation on data protection. It outlines certain principles for individuals and organisations to adhere to when they process an individual’s personal data. Any information from which an individual is personally identifiable will amount to personal data. If a party has acted in contravention of the DPA, the person whose rights have been breached could potentially take things further and even seek compensation for damages.
The first step is to consider reporting the alleged breach to the organisation in breach to see if things can be resolved directly with them, without the need to involve anyone else. This would be done through a grievance.
If that is unsuccessful, the next step is to consider reporting this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). They are the regulatory body that deals with data protection breaches and have certain powers at their disposal to deal with them, such as imposing fines and sanctions. However, they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and do this is by personally going through court.
What the ICO can do, if a breach is reported to them, is order the company to do any of the following:
- impose a temporary or indefinite ban on the processing of data
- force them to comply with your request
- provide any required information
- warn and admonish
- order rectification, erasure or destruction of specific data
- impose severe financial penalties and fine the company in breach
In terms of leaving, you can resign and claim constructive dismissal. Benefits can be delayed by up to 26 weeks in the event of resignation but that is usually only if you resign without any justifiable reasons and in the event of constructive dismissal, you are arguing that you were practically forced out and it was not your choice, hence why benefits should not be affected as a result.