In this guide, we are going to look at the process involved in making a claim for an HR department data breach. We will cover how and why these types of claims come about. And also why you may be eligible to make such a claim. You will also learn about how a No Win No Fee solicitor can assist you with such a claim.
Since every claim is unique, you may have questions that are not answered in this article. Therefore, we recommend you contact our team to get any additional answers you need. You can contact them 24/7 by calling on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, you can contact us online or use the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen.
Select A Section:
- What Is A HR Department Data Breach?
- Types Of Data Employers May Retain
- How Should Employers Protect Employees’ Data?
- How Could A Data Breach Of Employee Information Happen?
- What Should You Do If Your Employer Breached Your Data Privacy?
- HR Department Data Breach Compensation Claim
- How We Could Help With HR Department Data Breach Claim
What Is A HR Department Data Breach?
Organisations, including employers that collect and process personal data, are known as data controllers and are bound by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) to protect your personal data. If they fail to comply with data protection law, this could result in a personal data breach.
According to the UK GDPR, a personal data breach is a security incident that affects your personal data’s integrity, confidentiality, or availability. This means it affects any information that could be used to identify you, either alone or paired with other information.
However, not all cases of an HR department data breach can become valid claims.
This is because you must be able to prove that you suffered harm as a result of the breach. You must also prove liability. This will mean showing how the data controller failed in its responsibility to correctly secure your personal information.
Types Of Data Employers May Retain
Your employer will store and process many different types of personal data related to you as an individual. Some examples of data your employer may retain include:
- Personal data, such as your name, address, date of birth, email address, or phone number
- Special category data, such as your ethnicity, immigration status, health data, and sexual orientation
- Financial information such as your salary information and your bank account details.
Special category data is a type of personal data that requires extra protection under data protection law due to its sensitive nature. If your HR department fails to adequately protect your personal data under data protection law, and you suffer harm as a result, you may be able to make a claim. Contact our advisors for more information on HR department data breach claims.
How Should Employers Protect Employees’ Data?
Your HR department should follow the laws related to data security and privacy to protect employee information. Some examples of how employers can take steps to protect their employee’s personal data include:
- Providing training: Training HR staff on proper data protection compliance can reduce the risk of a personal data breach
- Implementing cybersecurity policies: Ensuring that adequate cybersecurity policies are in place can help protect employee data that is stored on devices such as laptops, hard drives and mobile phones
- Implementing physical security: Physical security is also important in data protection. This could be in the form of lockable filing cabinets and up-to-date security systems.
Our advisors are available to provide information surrounding HR department data breach claims should you wish to know more.
How Could A Data Breach Of Employee Information Happen?
There are many ways that a personal data breach can happen. With causes that can range from simple human mistakes to the nefarious actions of a cybercriminal. Below, we give some potential HR data breach examples.
- Your information could be verbally disclosed to an unauthorised third party.
- Documents could be left out on a desk, where they could be accessed without authorisation.
- A device containing personal data could be stolen or lost.
- An email containing personal data could be sent to the wrong email address.
- A fax containing your data is sent to the wrong number.
What Should You Do If Your Employer Breached Your Data Privacy?
If you think you have been impacted by an HR department data breach, there are some steps you can take to both help minimise the impact of the breach and prepare for a claim. We have listed them below.
- Contact the HR department to ask about the extent of the data breach.
- Report the data breach to the ICO.
- Gather evidence of any harm you may have suffered as a result of the breach. This could be financial harm or psychological harm.
- Contact our team to learn more about making a claim for data breach compensation.
Contact our advisors to learn how you could strengthen your personal data breach claim.
HR Department Data Breach Compensation Claim
You could receive two possible heads of compensation in a successful HR department data breach compensation claim. Material damage addresses the financial impacts of a personal data breach, and non-material damage covers any psychological impacts you may suffer. For example, you may experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or distress following a personal data breach.
The table below shows figures taken from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a document used to help legal professionals value personal injury, medical negligence, and data breach claims.
|Mental Health Issue||Severity||Compensation||Notes|
|PTSD||Severe||£59,860 to £100,670||An individual suffering from this level of PTSD would have a severe impairment in their ability to function. The impact would be felt in every aspect of their lives.|
|PTSD||Moderately Severe||£23,150 to £59,860||The distinction from the severe category above is that with professional help some recovery may be likely. However significant disability will be present for the foreseeable future.|
|PTSD||Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||An individual with PTSD at this level will likely be recovering well and won't be disabled in the future.|
|PTSD||Less Severe||£3,950 to £8,180||Only minor symptoms may last longer than two years.|
|Psychological Injury||Severe||£54,830 to £115,730||As a result of this disorder, it would be extremely difficult for the person to hold down a job, continue their education, and provide for their family. There may be a long period of symptom persistence.|
|Psychological Injury||Moderately Severe||£19,070 to £54,830||This condition makes it difficult for those who suffer from it to go about their day-to-day activities.|
|Psychological Injury||Moderate||£5,860 to £19,070||There is a good chance the victim will make a good recovery, despite initially dealing with mental health issues.|
|Psychological Injury||Less Severe||£1,540 to £5,860||Amounts of compensation will depend on the extent and duration of harm suffered.|
In 2015, the Court of Appeal heard Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc. The ruling allows claimants to pursue compensation for psychological injuries without also pursuing compensation for financial damage.
How We Could Help With HR Department Data Breach Claim
Did you know it can be possible to make a personal data breach claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor?
The benefits of such an arrangement are that you won’t have to pay anything upfront to your solicitor. However, if the claim is successful, your lawyer will be due a success fee. This is taken as a percentage of your compensation with a legal cap. Your solicitor will inform you of this fee beforehand, so there are no surprise costs. If the claim fails no success fee to pay.
Our advisors can tell you if you have a valid HR Department data breach claim and may be able to put you in contact with one of our expert No Win No Fee data breach solicitors. Contact our team today to learn more by
HR Department Data Breach Claim Resources
To get more helpful information:
- ICO – The Employment Practices Code
- GOV – Personal Data An Employer Can Keep About An Employee
- ICO – Make a Complaint
Or, for similar personal data breach articles:
- What Are My Rights After A Private Healthcare Provider Data Breach?
- Claiming For A Mortgage Provider Data Breach
- University Data Breach Claims – How To Make One
Contact our team of advisors today for more questions about HR department data breach claims.