Subject Access Request
Many employees are unaware that they are entitled to ask their employer for a copy of their personal data. For lots of employees this will be entirely irrelevant. However, in cases where an employee is facing redundancy, a disciplinary or capability hearing, or perhaps need to raise a grievance, this could become very important. Read on for more information.
Data protection in the UK is presently governed by the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). In a nutshell, the law states that employees have the right to obtain from an employer, information as to whether or not personal data is being processed about them, along with obtaining a copy of their personal data.
What is Personal Data?
Personal data must be information that relates to an individual and Article 4(1) of the UK GDPR (read with section 3(2) and (3) of the DPA 2018) defines personal data as follows:
“‘Personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable living individual (‘data subject’).”
How to Make a Request?
There is no set rule as to how a request must be made. This means a request could be made in writing, email or even verbally. However, to avoid confusion or delay, we advise that any requests are a) dated, b) in writing, c) list the personal data requested, and d) that ID is provided.
What to Ask For?
There are no special rules stipulating what an employee can request. However, to avoid arguments that a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, we advise that all requests are limited and specific.
For example if an employee is facing a disciplinary hearing, they may ask for any personal data relating to the investigation, any emails between specific dates which relate to the allegations they face, and any investigation notes etc….
How Long Will It Take?
The data subject access request should be dealt with without undue delay and in any even within ONE MONTH of receipt of the request. However, be aware that if the request is very lengthy this can be extended by a further two months.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitor Can Help You
If you are experiencing issues at work and are concerned about, or want more specific advice about your personal data rights, please contact Lincs Law Employment Solicitors on 01522 440512 for a free initial telephone consultation. Alternatively, for more information who we are and how we help people, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/
Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, Lincoln