Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach – When Could You Claim Compensation?

Did a recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach cause your personal data to become compromised? If you have suffered harm as a result of a personal data breach caused by a recruitment agency’s failings, you may be able to make a claim.

Recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach

Recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach claims guide

There are laws that protect the data rights of UK residents. The two main articles of legislation are called the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). This legislation is enforced by an independent body called the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The ICO can investigate and fine any organisation that fails to adequately apply lawful data processing practices. If an organisation fails to comply with these laws, it could result in a personal data breach.

In this article, we will explore personal data breaches and how they can affect you. We will also outline who could be eligible to make a claim, and how a solicitor from our panel could help you. To learn more, read on or get in touch by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach?
  2. Types Of Data Handled By Recruitment Agencies
  3. How Recruitment Agency Data Breaches Could Affect You
  4. Case Study – A Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach
  5. What Is The Average Settlement For Data Breach Claims
  6. Contact Our Team To Get Help With Your Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach Claim

What Is A Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach?

Before we examine a recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach specifically, it’s important to understand what a personal data breach is and the type of personal data it can involve. Personal data can be any information that when used alone or alongside other information could identify you. We look in detail below at the types of personal data that a recruitment agency may need to process.

The ICO describes a personal data breach as a security incident that affects the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of your personal data. This includes special category data, a type of personal data that requires additional protections under data protection law.

However, in order to form a valid claim, the UK GDPR and DPA set out specific criteria that your case must meet. This criterion includes:

  • You must suffer psychological or financial harm as a result of the breach
  • The breach must include your personal data
  • The breach must be a result of the recruitment agency’s wrongful conduct

If your case doesn’t meet this criteria, you may not be able to claim. To learn more about making a claim following a recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach, contact our advisors today.

Types Of Data Handled By Recruitment Agencies

What types of personal data does an employment or recruitment agency typically need to handle? Personal data that a recruitment agency might handle includes:

  • Name and address
  • Email and contact numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Bank account details
  • Employment history and CV

This list below includes data that is classed as special category (highlighted) which requires even greater levels of care:

  • Racial and ethnic background
  • Health information such as sickness information
  • Political, philosophical and religious beliefs
  • Trade Union affiliations
  • Biometric and genetic data

An employment or recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach can be the consequence of mishandling information like this.

If the employment agency can prove that they were doing their level best to prevent a data breach, a claim against them may not be valid. Therefore it’s important to show where positive wrongful conduct occurred and permitted the breach that damaged you financially or emotionally. Speak to our team for more guidance on making a recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach claim.

Data Breaches Related To Employment

The statistics below come from the ICO and show the prevalence of data security incidents for quarter 4 of the 2021/22 financial year. across main industry sectors. According to these statistics, 2,172 incidents were reported in this quarter. Of this number, the health sector suffered the most, with 427 breaches.

How Recruitment Agency Data Breaches Could Affect You

The negative impacts of an employment and recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach can be far-reaching and severe. A personal data breach can have serious effects on your mental health. For example, you may experience stress, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder following a personal data breach.

You may also suffer financial impacts. For example, if cybercriminals gain access to your credit card details, this could lead to fraudulent charges building up and damaging your credit score. Or, you may need to take time off work to recover from the mental impacts of the breach, which can lead to lost earnings.

To learn more about how a recruitment agency data breach could affect you, contact our advisors today.

Case Study – A Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach

In 2014, Jobcentre Plus was fined by the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman following a personal data breach. An employee at Jobcentre Plus revealed the claimant’s personal data to an unauthorised person who had previously abused him, which allowed this person to approach him.

This event caused the claimant to move to a different part of the country, as the breach had caused him emotional upset. The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman levied an additional £2,000 consolatory payment against the Jobcentre Plus atop the previously reached settlement.

( Source: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/our-casework/how-our-casework-makes-difference/case-summaries/98 )

For more information on making a personal data breach claim, contact our advisors today.

What Is The Average Settlement For Data Breach Claims

There are two areas of compensation you may be able to claim in a personal data breach case. Material damage focuses on the financial impacts caused by the breach.

Non-material damage focuses on the mental health harm you face as a result of the breach. Claiming for non-material damage alone is now possible since a precedent case called Vidal-Hall and Others v Google (2015), in which the Court of Appeal ruled that non-material damage may be claimed alone or with material damage.

The compensation calculator table below uses figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use this document to help them value personal data breach claims, personal injury claims, and medical negligence claims.

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Psychological & Psychiatric Damage JC Guideline Award & Level of Severity Supporting Notes
General Type (a) £54,830 to £115,730 – Severe Degree Awards here are given to people with severe mental health impacts in all areas of life with a poor prognosis for recovery.
General Type (b) £19,070 to £54,830 – Moderately Severe Degree Significant similar issues to those above but with a brighter prognosis.
General Type (c) £5,860 to £19,070 – Moderate Degree A marked improvement is seen in symptoms by the time the case may need to be heard at trial.
General Type (d) £1,540 to £5,860 – Less Severe Degree Reflective of length of disability and if the incident created anxiety issues or specific phobias.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a) £59,860 to £100,670 – Severe Level Permanent issues that chronically reduce the quality of the person’s life in all areas.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (b) £23,150 to £59,860 – Moderately Severe Levels Similar issues that see an improvement after professional help.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (c) £8,180 to £23,150 – Moderate Levels A recovery overall with only manageable symptoms remaining
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (d) £3,950 to £8,180 – Less Severe Degrees A full recovery within a 12 – 24 month period and only minor issues persisting beyond this date.

These figures are guideline amounts relating to non-material damage, and are not a guarantee of what you could receive. To learn more, contact our team.

Contact Our Team To Get Help With Your Recruitment Agency UK GDPR Data Breach Claim

Starting a data breach claim can be stressful, and you may have concerns about the cost of hiring a data breach solicitor. A No Win No Fee agreement could help with this worry.

Funding from a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) such as this means that it can be possible to work with a data breach solicitor at no upfront charge or with any costs as the case proceeds. In addition to this, there is a fee that is only due if your case succeeds. This success fee is a legally-capped percentage of your award. However, if your case does not succeed, you do not pay this fee.

Find out more about how a No Win No Fee agreement could fund representation for your claim by:

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Thank you for reading our guide on making a recruitment agency UK GDPR data breach claim.

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