Hi there I was wondering if there was anybody who had some legal background so that I may gain a little advice before proceeding with a full complaint!!
I work for a very large, very well known company and have done for many years. During that time, I have encountered bullying within the workplace and also several breeches of confidentiality, due to management being vindictive!!
My most recent breech was by my manager who I have had a reasonable relationship with, she talks to me and others only when she wants something, so it’s that sort of relationship!
However, I have recently resigned from my position within the company and have decided to break away completely from what I know, to begin a new position within a totally different company.
The issue was that I was contacted by several members of staff, both recent and past, asking me why I am leaving and also asking me about my new position within the new company I am going to be working for ?
To say I was shocked is an understatement....I asked them how they had received this information and was advised that it was placed in a weekly news letter that all members of the workplace receive via email, stating I was leaving, wishing me good luck, but also posting where I was going!!
Surely this is a breach of confidentiality or a data protection brief? Especially as I never consented for this information to be posted !!!
I may be wrong but I don’t think the dpa is relevant here, place if work isn’t as far as I remember something that is classed as private data. I may be out of date though it’s been a few years since I did DPA training. Is there a reason you wanted the information to be confidential?
If you’ve de used to resign, why would they keep it a secret?
A resignation will lead to lots of actions around the organisation - this could include, notifying payroll, closing IT accounts, cancelling a security pass, informing colleagues and clients, arranging a handover, recruiting a replacement. In large organisations, that could be at least half a dozen people anyway.
You may have cause to complain if you’d told your line manager the reasons for leaving (eg bullying) and they told everyone, but a straight forward communication for the purposes of of procedure is normal and expected.
It sounds totally normal to me. Every large organisation I have ever worked for has done similar. Usually they have a joiners and leavers page on the intranet or something like that, and it would say something like 'after ten years on the XXXX team, we are sad to see treaclesoda leave, but we wish her well in her new role as XXX manager in YYY company'. It's nothing sinister at all.
Presumably you have seen similar notices in the weekly newsletter when other people have left? Do you not read the newsletter? When other colleagues have left, have you never known or asked where they are going? Unless you specifically asked for the information not to be publicised, then you have no grounds for complaint. It sounds like your previous treatment at the company is colouring your perception here, otherwise it seems very dramatic to say that you were so shocked at this.
My issue is not that my employer decided to inform everyone that I was leaving, my issue is that my new place of employment was stated, which was inappropriate and unnecessary.... they could quite have easily wished me good luck without mentioning my new employer, and as I did not consent to any of this information to be shared, I do feel that my employer acted irresponsibly!!!
Imagine I was somebody fleeing from domestic violence... and she has just informed everyone where I am going to !!!
My previous grievance wasn’t with my current employer, she has been fine, I just think that before divulging personal information without consent, all employers should be aware that they may inadvertently cause problems and quite possibly safeguarding issues !!!
I think in this case in resigning you would need to ask them not to tell anyone where you're going. You could have chosen not to tell them and just resigned. I don't think youve done anything wrong. If you escaping dv you would not have told them where you were going or you would have as them to keep it confidential
DPA breeches refer to 3 pieces of identifying information. Usually name, DOB & address
Rubbish. DPA breaches refer to any information about an identifiable individual.
There is no problem with your employer telling people you are leaving. Telling them where you are going is another matter. It could be a breach of data protection. However, it is unlikely you would be entitled to any compensation for this breach. You could refer the matter to the ICO but they are unlikely to give your ex-employer anything more than a slap over the wrists for this.
Your complaints seem to be against your former manager, rather than your former colleagues. Why do you mind your colleagues knowing, seeing as your manager (who you say was the problem) would have known anyway. I don’t see how her telling other people in the company is likely to cause you any sort of problems. What do you think might happen?
It’s very unusual that you think your employer should be kept a secret. Unless.... You don’t work for MI5 do you?
Thank you for your replies as I stated earlier it was not the fact that my employer detailed I was leaving, as you say it would be common knowledge, within the Work place within a short period of time, but i would have expected an employer to adhere to confidentiality and to keep details of my new employer, confidential, this had nothing whatsoever to do with anybody else.
the information has to make the individual identifiable. Which is drawn on 3 piece of identifying info
No it isn't. The Data Protection Act does not mention any of those items of information. Whilst presence of the 3 items you mention clearly identifies an individual, it can still be personal data even if none of these are present. The key question is whether the data refers to a living individual who can be identified, either directly or indirectly.
You could refer the matter to the ICO but they are unlikely to give your ex-employer anything more than a slap over the wrists for this
Very unlikely ICO will get involved with the OPs situation. They don’t have the resource. ICO works on the basis of significant numbers of negative reports, not individual disgruntled employees reporting their personal circumstances. They expect companies to handle it within their own internal policies and procedures.
Aka - expect it to get kicked into the long grass.