Last updated on November 13th, 2021
If you’re the victim of an employee data breach and have suffered financial loss and/or distress as a result of it, you may be eligible to file an employee data breach compensation claim.
In the UK, there are two major laws pertaining to safeguarding individuals’ personal information – the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. The gist of both these laws is that when you give your personal information to an employer, business, organisation, or even the government, it must be handled, stored, and used in a secure manner. If your personal information is misused or lost, or an unauthorised person gets access to it, that constitutes a data breach.
What Constitutes An Employee Data Breach?
Almost all companies maintain files containing private information about their employees. These companies are required by law to have robust measures in place for safeguarding this data. With electronically stored information, protective measures may include using strong passwords and encrypting the data. In addition, access to this data should be limited to authorised employees only.
If your employer failed to meet these data security requirements and your personal data is disclosed, misused, lost or destroyed you should contact a data breach solicitor to determine your right to file an employee data breach compensation claim.
Examples of workplace data breaches include but are not limited to:
- Employers or employees misusing personal information related to any other individual, whether that individual is an employer, employee or customer
- Failure to dispose of confidential data properly, resulting in it falling in the wrong hands
- A cyber attack that results in unauthorised persons getting access to everyone’s personal information
- An email or letter containing confidential data being sent to the wrong recipients
- Documentation with personal information being left in a common area
Potential Ramifications Of An Employee Data Breach
The personal data that most employers hold usually relate to salary, terms and conditions of employment, perks, and a record of disciplinary actions, absenteeism, medical conditions, and grievances. Should an unauthorised person or a fellow employee access and misuse that data, it could have serious repercussions depending on who managed to access the information and how they use it. Potential consequences of a workplace data breach may include:
- Identity theft
- Financial and non-financial fraudulent activity
- Financial losses
- Damage to reputation
- Loss of confidentiality
- Discrimination/ harassment, and stress in the workplace
- Inconvenience from having to change passwords and freeze accounts
- Social and economic distress
The repercussions of a workplace data breach can be devastating as you grapple with changing passwords to sensitive information and calling banks and credit card companies to freeze your accounts before any potential damage is done. If much time has passed before the data breach is discovered, it may be difficult to estimate the amount of damage done. All of this can be extremely distressing and stressful.
Filing an employee data breach compensation claim may the only way to get some restitution for the losses you’ve suffered.
Making An Employee Data Breach Compensation Claim
In order to file a successful employee data breach compensation claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered the consequences for which you are claiming. This is not always easy to do if you do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the applicable laws. The best way to increase your chances of winning an employee data breach claim is by utilising the services of an experienced solicitor.
What Compensation Could You Claim?
For an employee data breach you can claim compensation under two categories – financial losses and distress.
This covers any losses that you suffer if a cybercriminal uses your information to access your existing bank accounts, apply for a credit card in your name, or set up fraudulent bank accounts in your name, for example.
Having your confidential information stolen can have a profound impact on your peace of mind. Not knowing how the person who accessed your information intends to use it can leave you feeling unsettled and anxious. You might have trouble focusing, sleeping, or even just doing your everyday chores. Over time, persistent anxiety can affect physical well-being.
What To Expect From A Solicitor
Most solicitors will provide a free consultation session when you contact them about an employee data breach. During the consultation the solicitor will ask you various questions regarding the breach such as how you believe it happened, how you got to know about it and what losses you’ve suffered or what effect it has had on you. They may also want to look through any evidence you may be able to provide thus far.
If the solicitor/advisor determines that your case has merit, they will explain the procedure for filing an employee data breach claim. They will let you know what you can expect from them and what else they may need to put together a strong claim.
The way a No Win No Fee contract works is the lawyer waives their booking fee and also agrees to cover all costs involved with filing a claim, including all legal fees. You are under no obligation to pay anything until after the claim has been settled.
No Win No Fee Employee Data Breach Compensation Claims
According to the terms of typical No Win No Fee agreements, you only commit to paying your solicitor a percentage of the settlement awarded to you if your employee data breach compensation claim is successful. If your claim is unsuccessful, you are not liable to reimburse the solicitor for any of the expenses incurred.
Using a solicitor to file an employer data breach compensation claim increases your odds of winning the claim and getting compensated for your suffering and losses. What’s more, you benefit from the solicitor’s legal expertise and experience without any financial risk to yourself.
If you would like to arrange a free consultation with a solicitor about an employee data breach compensation claim please contact us today.