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Right of Access Detailed Guidance

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

With employment tribunal claims on the increase, claimants and would-be claimants are increasingly making subject access requests (“SARs”) to employers and former employers.

These SARs  can be made either alongside proceedings or ahead of claims being filed. SARs are often seen as fishing expeditions which can trip up even the most experienced and data organised employers.

SARs can therefore have serious cost implications for employers. Not only in relation to financial penalties that can follow from tripping up when it comes to dealing with the SAR, but also in terms of the time spent responding to them.

In terms of time spend, depending on the SAR, businesses can often find it is obliged to disclose documents to the data subject that go far beyond those they would be obliged to disclose under the Tribunal’s disclosure rules. This can take a significant number of working hours to both collate the information that is to be disclosed as well as ensuring the information that is disclosed does not, unwittingly, give rise to third party data/privacy breaches.

Maybe in response to the issues associated with SARs, the Information Commissioner’s Office (which is responsible for enforcing SAR rights) has issued a new and detailed guidance for responding to SARs. This guidance can be accessed here

For further advice or to see how we can help contact the Employment Team.

Jennie Jahina

Posted:

Jennie Jahina

Partner

Jennie is a Partner and Head of the Employment team.  A member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Jennie has 21 years’ experience and is an accredited CEDR Mediator. She acts for private sector organisations ranging from SMEs to multi-national companies and public sector organisations.