As an employer you owe various duties to your employees, including protecting their personal information from being used unlawfully. Our employment solicitors can help you ensure that you don’t break data protection rules and protect your business against data breaches.

Employee data regulations are complex and it can be difficult to know how they apply to all aspects of your business. You may not even realise you’re not complying, but if you get this wrong and breach data protection rules, you can be fined and your staff can bring claims against you.

Our employment solicitors can review your policies and procedures and pinpoint any areas where you’re not legally compliant. We’ll advise you on practical ways to implement new policies so you can fix immediate problems and avoid issues in the future.

Contact our team today on 0808 271 2602 for expert advice on how to use employee data.

Frequently asked questions

What issues could I face around employee data protection?

Businesses collect personal data from their employees, workers and even job applicants. Any use of this information must be used lawfully and comply with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Before GDPR, many businesses included a consent clause in their employment contracts asking employees to agree to their employers using personal data for a wide range of reasons. It was difficult for employees to refuse consent, and this method didn’t give employees much choice over how or why their data was being used.

It’s much more difficult to rely on consent under GDPR and in most cases employers will need to find another lawful reason to process information about their staff. You’ll also need to tell your staff what these are and how you’re using their information in a privacy notice.

Back to top

What happens if I don’t comply with data protection rules?

Not following employee data protection rules could lead to:

  • Staff reporting you to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) leading to an investigation
  • Fines of up to €20 million or 4% of your annual worldwide turnover (whichever is bigger)
  • Lack of trust from your employees
  • Employment tribunal and civil claims if you’ve misused or unlawfully shared an employee’s personal information.

If you’re not sure your business complies with data protection rules it’s best to get legal advice as soon as possible.

Our team of GDPR experts will help you identify and fix any problems with the way you process employee data and make sure that the information you give to your staff is correct.

Back to top

What should my data protection policy include?

Your data protection policy should include:

  • An explanation of what personal data is and why its protection is important
  • How and why employee information is used and collected
  • What data protection rights your employees have and how you’ll enforce these
  • How the business deals with data breaches
  • Consequences for businesses and individuals who don’t comply with your policies
  • References to other relevant HR policies like IT, social media, flexible working and employee conduct policies.

Our employment solicitors can review existing policies or create new ones that will help you comply with GDPR. We’ll get to know your business and put policies in place that work, protect you and your employees and deal with any non-compliance issues.

Back to top

How can Irwin Mitchell help?

Our experienced employment and data protection solicitors provide a bespoke service that’ll help you and your HR teams manage your use of employee data in the correct way.

Our team will start by giving you a questionnaire to identify the ways you use personal information. We’ll work through the answers with you and assess where you aren’t complying with GDPR or could improve. From there we’ll help you take practical steps to update your policies and procedures.

Breaching data protection rules can have serious consequences and may lead to an investigation or court proceedings. If you do face an investigation, our experienced data protection solicitors can help you respond to the investigation and, if necessary, represent you in court.

Contact our team on 0808 271 2602 if you’d like to discuss any concerns you have with employee data.

Back to top

Why choose Irwin Mitchell?

Knowing where to start when you need to comply with data protection rules can feel overwhelming. Our employment solicitors understand you need policies that work for your specific business. We’ll work closely with you to give you tailored advice on how to comply to protect your employee data.

We have offices across the country so no matter where you’re based we can help. Our business solicitors can also give you expert advice on issues like commercial litigation, real estate, corporate and wider employment law issues.

Our lawyers take the time to consider what your business needs and how we can work together. We focus on building long-term relationships that help you fix your immediate issues and prevent problems from arising in in future.

Back to top

Contact us

Contact our team today online or call 0808 271 2602 to discuss how we can help.

Find one of our solicitors near you

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

Business News

Our lawyers are regularly asked to provide expert insight, advice and analysis for the national media. Take a look at the stories below to see what we’re saying, as well as some of the recent deals we have completed for our clients here in the UK and abroad.

Awards & Accreditations

We’re proud of the recognition we’ve received for our business legal work. For a list of awards and accreditations, please visit our awards page.

Chambers top ranked 2024 logo
Legal 500 - 2024 Leading Firm
Legal 500 - 2024 Top Tier