Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach – Can I Claim Compensation?

This guide will explain how to make a claim for compensation following an employment agency UK GDPR data breach.

Employment agency UK GDPR data breach claims guide

Employment agency UK GDPR data breach claims guide

In this guide, we will discuss how a personal data breach could occur within an employment agency. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) dictate the steps organisations such as employment agencies must take when handling the personal data of UK residents.

This legislation also sets out the criteria that

Select A Section

  1. What Is An Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach?
  2. What Data Could Recruitment Agencies Hold?
  3. Employment Agency Data Breach Case Study
  4. How To Claim For An Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach
  5. Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach Claims Calculator
  6. Talk To Our Team Now

What Is An Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach?

An employment agency UK GDPR data breach is a security incident that occurs within an employment agency which compromises the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of personal data.

Under the DPA and the UK GDPR, data controllers and processors must take certain steps to protect the personal data of UK residents. This could be any information that could identify you, for example, your full name or postal address.

You may be eligible to claim compensation for a personal data breach if you can provide evidence to prove the following:

  • The company’s data controller or processor failed to follow data protection regulations, which lead to the breach.
  • You experienced harm because of the breach
  • The breach involved your personal data

Get in touch with our team to learn more; an advisor can help determine if you can claim data breach compensation.

What Data Could Recruitment Agencies Hold?

Personal data is data which identifies an individual. Employment agencies may collect personal data such as your:

An employment agency may collect a kind of personal data known as special category data. Special category needs extra protection according to data protection legislation, as the information is regarded as sensitive. Special category data that an employment agency may hold can include your:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious or philosophical views
  • Trade Union membership

To learn more about what kinds of data an employment agency may hold on you, or to start your employment agency UK GDPR data breach claim, contact us today.

Employment Agency Data Breach Case Study

In 2019, two high-profile employment agency data breaches occurred. Collectively US job site Authentic Jobs and UK jobs app Sonic jobs unknowingly exposed the personal data of nearly 250,000 candidates.

Both firms stored CVs that contained personal data through a cloud storage system. However, the folders– also known as “buckets” — that stored the data were not set to private. Instead, the information was accessible to the public.

This allowed anyone who knew the location of the bucket to find and download any of the CVs being stored. Both firms made these buckets private following the breach.

( https://news.sky.com/story/job-applicants-worried-as-hundreds-of-thousands-of-cvs-exposed-online-11836935 )

Related Data Breach Statistics

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 helps us understand how common cyber security breaches are in the UK. The survey found that in the 12 months leading up to March 2022, private businesses experienced the following:

  • 39% of UK businesses experienced cyber-attacks.
  • Phishing attacks were the most common form of cyber-attack (83%)

For more information on personal data breach claims, get in touch with our team.

How To Claim For An Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach

If you are the victim of an employment agency UK GDPR data breach, the company should notify the ICO of the breach within 72 hours as well as notify you as soon as possible. However, this is on the condition that the employment agency data breach puts your rights and freedoms at risk.

However, if you think you have come across a breach or the misuse of your data, you can complain to the organisation. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the independent body that upholds data protection laws in the UK. The ICO recommends you take the following steps:

  • Complain directly to the recruitment agency.
  • If you are unhappy with the response you receive, ask the organisation for clarification.
  • However, if the company fails to resolve the problem, you can make a complaint to the ICO. Do this within 12 weeks of your last meaningful communications with the organisation.

You will generally have six years to start a personal data breach claim; this begins on the date of the breach or the date you become aware of the breach. However, for claims made against a public body, this falls to one year.

Contact our advisors today to see if you could make a claim for a UK GDPR data breach.

Employment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach Claims Calculator

If your employment agency data breach claim succeeds, you could receive material damage for any financial or material losses that occurred because of the breach. For example, a breach of your credit card details could lead to criminals stealing money from your bank accounts. Or, this could lead to damage to your credit score.

You could also receive non-material damage for any psychological injuries caused by the breach. For example, a personal data breach could lead you to experience anxiety, depression, or stress.

Injury Potential Damages Notes
Mental Harm – Severe £54,830 – £115,730 The person will experience an inability to cope with multiple aspects of their life, such as work or relationships. The prognosis is very poor.
Mental Harm – Moderately Severe £19,070 – £54,830 There are still significant problems as identified above but the prognosis is more optimistic.
Mental Harm – Moderate £5,860 – £19,070 Improvements in this person’s mental state have taken place, and the prognosis is better.
Mental Harm – Less Severe £1,540 – £5,860 Consideration is given in this bracket to the severity of symptoms, length of time affected, and effect on activities like sleep.
Anxiety Disorder – Severe £59,860 – £100,670 The person may be severely and permanently impacted, with no ability to work or function as they would have before the trauma.
Anxiety Disorder – Moderately Severe £23,150 – £59,860 Significant disability will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Some recovery could take place with professional treatment.
Anxiety Disorder – Moderate £8,180 – £23,150 A large recovery can be achieved through some symptoms that are not disabling may remain.
Anxiety Disorder – Less Severe £3,950 – £8,180 After a two-year recovery period, only minor symptoms remain.

The table above uses figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to demonstrate potential compensation amounts for non-material damage. Solicitors often use this document to help them value claims, however, it is important to keep in mind that these are guidelines, and the actual award you may receive can differ.

To learn more about compensation in personal data breach claims, contact our team today.

Talk To Our Team Now

Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors could help you start your claim with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Hiring a solicitor under a CFA usually means that you do not need to pay any fees or costs to them as your claim begins or as it is ongoing. The only fee you’ll pay to your solicitor is a success fee, and this is only taken if your claim is successful. If it fails, you won’t pay this fee.

Our advisors can provide free legal advice, and they can give a full evaluation of your claim. If they find your case to be valid, then they can connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel. To learn more, get in touch:

Data Breaches By Service Providers

For more helpful articles about personal data breach claims, we recommend:

Or, for further resources:

ICO – Your data matters

NHS – A guide to managing stress

NCSC – Data breach guidance for individuals and families

Thank you for reading our guide to claiming compensation for an employment agency UK GDPR data breach.

Writer AL

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