Have you suffered workplace discrimination due to a data breach? A personal data breach can have an effect on all areas of your life, including your working life. When personal data is compromised, this could lead to discrimination in the workplace.
In this article, we will discuss what a personal data breach is and how it could affect your working life. We will also discuss the legislation that is in place to protect the personal data of UK residents and the criteria set out in this legislation that your case must meet in order to make a claim.
We will also explain how legal professionals assign value to personal data breach claims. In doing so, we will provide guideline compensation examples. Alongside this, we will explain the two heads of claim that make up personal data breach settlements.
Finally, we will discuss No Win No Fee solicitors and how the knowledge and guidance of a data protection solicitor from our panel could benefit you and your claim. Our team of advisors can provide free legal advice and can tell you if your claim is valid when you get in touch today.
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- Workplace Discrimination Data Breach – The Definition
- Risks Leading To Workplace Discrimination Data Breach Incidents
- Workplace Discrimination Data Breach Case Study
- How To Claim For A Breach Of Your Personal Data
- Calculating Compensation For A Workplace Discrimination Data Breach
- Contact Our Team
You may be wondering what a personal data breach is. According to the UK General Data Protection Legislation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), a personal data breach occurs as a security incident leading to the alteration, unlawful or accidental destruction, loss, unawful or unauthorised access to or disclosure of personal data.
Some examples of personal data include your:
- Full name
- Credit card information
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Home address
- Phone number
The legislation above also protects special category data. This is a type of personal data that requires extra protection due to its sensitive nature. For example, special category data can include information relating to your:
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Sexual orientation
- Religious or philosophical beliefs
However, to make a claim, your case must meet the criteria set out by data protection legislation. This means you must suffer harm, and the breach must be a result of the organisation’s failings.
Workplace Data Breach Statistics
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body. They are responsible for upholding data protection laws for UK residents. As a part of their role, the ICO publish quarterly reports detailing data security incident trends.
According to the ICO, in Q4 of the 2021/22 financial year, there were 2.172 reported data security incident reports across all sectors. Of this number, 1,696 incidents were non-cyber incidents, while the remaining 476 were cyber-related incidents.
To learn more about workplace discrimination due to a data breach, contact our advisors.
There are many ways that a personal data breach could occur that may then lead to discrimination in the workplace. However, in order to make a claim, the breach must occur as a result of wrongful conduct. Some examples of how an organisation’s failings could lead to a personal data breach include:
- Verbal disclosure: For example, a human resources employee may have access to your records and may see data pertaining to your sexual orientation. If they were to then verbally disclose this information to an unauthorised colleague, this is a breach of personal data. It may also lead to discrimination in the workplace.
- Human error: One example of human error includes the misdelivery of data. In this case, an employee may send an email containing personal data such as disciplinary records to the wrong email address.
- Inadequate security: Records or files containing special category data such as your religion, sexuality, or trade union membership status should be kept in a secure location, such as a lockable filing cabinet. If they are not, this could lead to colleagues gaining unauthorised access to this information, which in turn could lead to discrimination in the workplace.
These are just a few examples of how workplace discrimination due to a personal data breach could occur. To find out if you could have a valid claim, contact our team today.
When looking at a workplace discrimination data breach, there is a noticeable case study from the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Due to the accidental online publication of spreadsheets containing the personal data of 6,574 employees, the ICO fined the trust £185,000. These spreadsheets contained information relating to employee disabilities, pay scales, sexual orientations and religious beliefs.
According to the ICO, the information was available for ten months, and the trust waited a further 5 months before informing staff of the breach.
( Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-36203807 )
Our advisors can tell you if you could make a claim following workplace discrimination due to a data breach.
If a breach occurs that could affect your freedoms or your rights, the organisation responsible must make a report to the ICO within 72 hours. They must inform you of the breach without undue delay.
However, if you experience workplace discrimination and believe it to be the result of a personal data breach, then you can get in touch with the organisation in question. If the organisation doesn’t reply or if their reply is unsatisfactory, you can then make a complaint to the ICO.
The ICO has the power to open investigations into organisations and suspected breaches. They cannot provide compensation. However, they can impose monetary fines on organisations found to breach data protection legislation.
To learn more about how you could make a claim following workplace discrimination due to a data breach, contact our advisors today.
A personal data breach claim can be made up of material damage and non-material damage. Non-material damage addresses the psychological impacts of the breach. For example, you may suffer anxiety, distress, or depression following a breach.
However, material damage addresses the financial impacts of a breach. For example, you may experience money stolen from your account or a damaged credit score as a result of loans taken out in your name.
Previously, you had to claim for material damage in order to claim for non-material damage. However, as a result of the Court of Appeal ruling in the case of Vidal-Hall and Others V Google , claimants may now pursue non-material damage alone or with material damage.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that legal professionals often use to help them calculate the value of personal injury and personal data breach claims. These compensation guidelines are often used in personal injury claims such as accident at work claims and medical negligence claims, as well as personal data breach compensation claims.
The information in this table is from the 16th edition of the JCG, published in 2022.
|Psychiatric damage or harm: Severe
|£54,830 to £115,730
|A significant and permanent effect on coping with day-to-day life.
|Psychiatric damage or harm: Moderately Severe
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Similar to the above with a slightly better prognosis.
|Psychiatric damage or harm: Moderate
|£5,860 to £19,070
|A good prognosis as a result of improved symptoms by the time of trial.
|Psychiatric damage or harm: Less Severe
|£1,540 to £5,860
|Consideration is given to the length of illness and remaining effects on sleep and daily activities.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Severe and permanent effects result in an inability to function as they would pre-trauma.
|PTSD: Moderately Severe
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Similar to the above, with a better prognosis due to some chance of recovery with professional treatment.
|£8,180 to £23,150
|A large recovery is achieved, with some effects remaining.
|PTSD: Less Severe
|£3,950 to £8,180
|A full recovery has been achieved within 1-2 years with only minor symptoms that remain.
Contact our team of advisors for a free estimate of what you could receive if you experience workplace discrimination due to a data breach,
Our team of advisors are available to assess your claim and can tell you if your case is valid. If it is, they may be able to connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. Our panel offer representation via Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), which can help you fund your claim with no upfront or ongoing fees or costs.
If your claim succeeds under a CFA, you will pay a success fee. This is a percentage of your compensation which is legally capped. However, if your claim does not succeed, you do not pay this fee.
To learn more about how you could make a claim with a solicitor from our panel, you can:
Related Employment And Workplace Data Breach Claims
For more helpful articles:
- What are my rights after a Lloyds pharmacy data breach?
- What are my rights after a university data breach?
- What are my rights after an employer data breach?
Or, for further help:
- ICO – How to minimise the risk of a personal data breach happening
- ICO – Report a breach
- ICO – Make a complaint
Contact our team today if you have been affected by workplace discrimination due to a data breach.
Guide by EW
Edited by CH