Can I Claim Compensation For A Disciplinary Records Data Breach?

A disciplinary records data breach that involves your personal data could cause you harm. Personal data is offered certain protections in the UK, and there are pieces of legislation in place that outline how it should be safeguarded. If an organisation breaches these laws and your personal data is exposed, you could be entitled to make a claim. 

Disciplinary records data breach

Disciplinary records data breach claim guide

Personal data can be used to identify you in isolation or when put together with other pieces of information. Your disciplinary records from the workplace could be an example of personal data.

This guide will look at when a compensation claim involving disciplinary records could be valid. Furthermore, we’ll look at how a breach of this nature could occur and the amount you could receive in the event of a successful claim. In addition to this, we will look at No Win No Fee agreements and the benefits that they offer claimants.

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Can I Claim Compensation For A Disciplinary Records Data Breach? 

If your personal data is exposed in a breach, you may be able to claim compensation for it. In order to claim, however, you will need to show that the breach was caused by the wrongful conduct of the party in control of your data. This could be a controller or a processor.

These are roles described by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s independent authority on data protection rights. Certain data breaches need to be reported to the ICO. 

A data controller is a party who decides how and why personal data is processed. A data processor is someone who processes data on behalf of a controller.

Furthermore, a breach must have caused you harm in order to form the basis of a claim. This harm can be financial and/or emotional.

For more information on claiming for a disciplinary records data breach, why not speak with a member of our team today? An advisor could offer you free legal advice on the process of claiming compensation for a data breach.

What Is A Disciplinary Records Data Breach?

A data breach is a security incident that impacts the availability, confidentiality or integrity of personal data. Data breaches can have accidental or deliberate causes. 

You may be able to claim for a breach of personal data that happened accidentally or deliberately. However, you would need to show that the breach happened because of the wrongful conduct of the party in control of your data.

For example, if your personal details were accessed by hackers who were able to access the system in which they were stored, this is an example of a breach. However,  you would only be able to claim for this if the cybersecurity systems responsible for protecting your personal data were substandard. If all necessary steps were taken to protect your personal data, but a breach occurred despite this, then you would not be able to claim.

Disciplinary information might be held by your employer or your organisation’s human resources department. It could include information on mistakes you have made in the workplace or details of a personal improvement plan that you’ve been given to follow. Depending on the nature of the disciplinary action taken, these records could also include sensitive personal data, such as that relating to your trade union membership or medical conditions. Special category data is the term for more sensitive forms of personal data that need more protection.

The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) are the pieces of legislation in place to protect personal data in the UK. For more information on how failure to adhere to these laws could result in a disciplinary records data breach, speak with an advisor today.

Possible Data Breaches 

There are a number of different ways a data breach could occur that exposes your personal data. As we’ve mentioned, not all breaches will enable you to claim; instead, the wrongful conduct of the data controller or processor must have caused the breach in order for you to receive compensation.

Below, we’ve included some examples of how a data breach could happen:

  • Lost or stolen devices. If your personal data, including disciplinary records, is stored on a laptop or phone, and this is lost, then this could be an example of a data breach.
  • Email sent to the wrong recipient. Someone in your workplace’s HR department might need to send your disciplinary records on to one of their colleagues. If they sent this to the wrong email address, this could mean that an unauthorised person is able to view it.
  • Verbal disclosure. If someone verbally discloses data that has been processed (i.e. is stored elsewhere digitally or physically), and the person to who they disclose this isn’t authorised to have access to this, then this is an example of a data breach.

If you have any more questions about making a disciplinary records data breach, speak with our team today. 

Stats For Data Breaches: 

The ICO produce statistics relating to security incidents that are reported to them. They show that in the last quarter of 2021/22, there were 1,696 non-cyber data breaches, of which: 

  •  381 related to data being emailed to the wrong recipient 
  • 217 related to the posting or faxing of data to the wrong recipient
  • 79 related to the failure to use blind carbon copy (BCC) in an email

How Much Can I Get For A Disciplinary Records Data Breach? 

You may be wondering, “how much compensation could I receive in a data breach claim?”. If you’re awarded compensation after a data breach, then it could be made up of two heads. These relate to:

  • Material damages. This is the financial impact that a breach has had on you. For example, a credit score data breach could have an impact on your ability to take out a loan in the future.
  • Non-material damages. This is the emotional or psychological impact that a breach has had on you.

In the past, it was the case that in order to claim for emotional harm resulting from a breach, you’d also need to have experienced financial harm. Now, however, since the Court of Appeal case Vidal Hall vs. Google [2015], you can claim for non-material damages even if you have not suffered financially.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a set of guideline compensation brackets based on previously settled claims. Legal professionals use them to help value non-material damages in data breach claims.  

We’ve included the table below instead of a compensation calculator containing brackets from the JCG. They should only be used as a guide, and the amount you actually receive might vary.

InjurySeverityCompensation BracketNote
Psychiatric Damage Generally (a)Severe£54,830 to £115,730Marked issues with a number of different factors, such as future vulnerability and relationships with others. Poor prognosis for recovery.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (b)Moderately severe£19,070 to £54,830A more optimistic prognosis than in more severe cases, despite significant problems in many areas of life.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (c)Moderate£5,860 to £19,070Marked improvement and the prognosis will be good despite problems with various factors like relationships with others and vulnerability in the future.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (d)Less Severe£1,540 to £5,860The length of the period of disability will dictate the level of award.
Psychiatric Disorder (Reactive) (a)Severe£59,860 to £100,670There will be permanent effects preventing the injured from functioning at the level they did before the trauma occurred.
Psychiatric Disorder (Reactive) (b)Moderately Severe£23,150 to £59,860Significant disability for the foreseeable future. However, better prognosis than in more serious cases for recovery.
Psychiatric Disorder (Reactive) (c)Moderate£8,180 to £23,150A largely full recovery will have been made. If there are ongoing effects, then they will not be disabling to a gross degree.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (d)Less Severe£3,950 to £8,180Recovery within one to two years. If any symptoms persist beyond this, they will be minor.

For more information on how much you could receive after a disciplinary records data breach, speak with an advisor today. 

What Is A No Win No Fee Agreement?

When filing a disciplinary data breach claim, you may decide to hire a legal representative. However, you may wonder if there’s an alternative to doing this without paying large upfront or ongoing fees. 

A No Win No Fee agreement is a way of funding legal representation without paying upfront or ongoing fees. It means that if your claim is not a success, you don’t have to pay your lawyer for their services.

If your claim is a success, you will pay a legally-capped percentage of your settlement to your lawyer to cover their costs. The legal cap on this success fee prevents solicitors from overcharging claimants.

Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to give you free legal advice about disciplinary records data breach claims. Our team can advise on and value any potential claims you may have. 

Contact us by:

  • Calling the number above 
  • Filling out our online form
  • Using the live chat feature on your screen now

Further Guidance About Disciplinary Records Data Breaches.

Phishing Guidance– National Cyber Security Centre

Mental Health Support – NHS

Enforcement Action– ICO

If you found these resources helpful, you may want to read:

For more information on claiming after a disciplinary records data breach, speak with our advisors today.

Writer Ryan Walsh

Publisher Fern Stump