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Grievance, Discipline, Dismissal and GDPR


Morrisons Supermarkets are breathing a sigh of relief since the Supreme Court ruling that they are not vicariously liable for a deliberate data breach by a disgruntled ex-employee which exposed personal data of almost 100,000 of its employees.  Vicarious liability is when an employer is held responsible for something done by an employee in the course of their employment. In WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants [2020] the Supreme Court considered the circumstances in which an employer is vicariously liable for the conduct of its employees and whether the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) excluded vicarious liability for such  claims…..Read more

Personal Information

Your personal information during grievance, disciplinary and dismissal proceedings is covered by GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. Make a subject access request to check the information that your employer has on you after disciplinary and grievance procedures or when you leave the job for whatever reason. You have the right to check and correct any inaccuracies, ask the employer not to process any more data about you or exercise your right to be forgotten.

The ICO Employment Practices Code says that;

  • Subject access rights apply even if your employer believes that responding to a request might impact on a disciplinary or grievance investigation or on forthcoming proceedings, unless responding would be likely to prejudice a criminal investigation.
  • Records of the proceedings must be confidential and kept securely.
  • The investigator should not coerce or deceive anyone to get information.
  • Information used should logically support the conclusions.
  • Any unproven allegations should be removed from your personnel record unless there are exceptional reasons for keeping them.
  • All records should be kept securely.
  • Investigators do not have an unrestricted right of access to all information held about you and should only access your personal information that is relevant to the matter being investigated. For example, they should not be looking at your Occupational Health records if the matter under investigation has nothing to do with your health.
  • Your employer should have a clear procedure for how “spent” disciplinary warnings are dealt with. They must decide what “spent” means and put the definition in the disciplinary procedures. A diary system (manual or computerised) should be set up to consider the removal of spent warnings from employees’ records, if that is provided by the procedure.
  • When employment is terminated, your employer should keep an accurate record on file that reflects the reason for termination and is consistent with what you know. For example, if a person resigns in a situation where they were asked to do so, then the record should state that they resigned and not that they were dismissed.

Updated: 07/04/2020


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