Since its passage into law, Section 7 of the Data Protection Act has been widely used by disgruntled employees and ex-employees to force disclosure prior to tribunal proceedings. Brian Gregg looks at how this has been affected by the case of Durant v FSA
For a number of years many companies have been forced to take part in a game. The rules have been rather unclear, but it has most often been played when disputes take place with company employees. The typical scenario is that an employee or ex-employee makes a subject access request under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 for ‘personal data’ held by the company, paying a fee of £10. He then diarises 40 days forward, by which time the individual insists on receiving copies of all documents relating to him or her or in which he or she is named or described, with threats to otherwise report any failures on the part of the company to the Information Commissioner. Often the game also involves the fact that the employee has a complaint against the employer and is seeking information to fuel a future High Court or Employment Tribunal claim.
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