Employer Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

If you have suffered negative effects after your workplace compromised your personal information, you may be looking for advice on how to seek employer data breach compensation. This guide will explain who is eligible to claim and detail how the process works.

Data breach can be a complex area. So we start by explaining data protection law and how these laws place an obligation on all companies and organisations to adhere to certain data processing standards. Failure to comply can result in an investigation and fine from the independent watchdog for data rights called the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). It can also mean you have a valid case to seek damages against the employer who compromised your data. So we look at some examples of employer data breaches that could result in a legitimate claim.

After this, we explore some of the actions you can take to support your claim, such as collecting evidence. We explain how evidence can be used to calculate a compensation amount for financial loss and emotional harm. Also, we lay out the advantages of making a No Win No Fee claim with a data breach solicitor from our panel.

Please read on to discover more about your legal options after an employer data breach. Or if you would like to discuss compensation in person, call the advisors for an immediate case check on the number below:

  • Connect with our advisors on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us online to discuss claims for personal data breaches.
  • Start a dialogue through the live chat option at the bottom of this screen.

A man standing over electronic words spelling out data breach.

Choose A Section

  1. Can You Claim Employer Data Breach Compensation?
  2. How Can An Accidental Data Breach At Work Happen?
  3. What Evidence Could Help You Claim For A Workplace Data Breach?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Workplace Data Breach?
  5. Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Employer Data Breach Compensation?
  6. Read More About Making An Employer Data Breach Claim

Can You Claim Employer Data Breach Compensation?

The two main pieces of legislation that protect the data rights of the public are called the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). If your employer violates these, you might have a valid compensation claim.

The ICO defines two groups called controllers and processors. Controllers set the purpose and means for the data collection. They can decide to process this data themselves in-house or use external data processors who will act on their instruction. Your employer may perform both roles or out-source the data processing.

A valid claim for data breach compensation may apply if you can show the following:

  • The data breach was caused by a failure on the part of the employer or their processor to fulfil Data Protection Act and UK GDPR obligations (this is referred to as wrongful conduct). For example, the employer did not train their staff on data awareness or protection.
  • The failure of the employer to adhere to data protection laws and train their staff who have access to personal data on data security led to a breach. For example, human resources left paperwork with your personal data on a desk where other members of staff accessed it.
  • Because other employees could see your personal data, this led to you suffering financial and/or emotional harm.

Personal data is a term used for any detail that can identify you. Whether on its own or alongside other information. This includes your name, address and mobile phone number. The term also includes much more sensitive and personal details about your health, ethnicity and religious or political beliefs. This is classed as special category data and demands even higher care when being processed

According to the ICO, a personal data breach can include the loss of availability, integrity and confidentiality of your personal data. Data about you that is stored digitally or on paper is equally protected. Furthermore, deliberate actions and cases of human error may qualify you to claim.

For a clearer idea about your eligibility, speak to our knowledgeable team.

How Can An Accidental Data Breach At Work Happen?

An employer might need to keep a cross-section of information about you that includes personal data and personal data that is sensitive (special category data). So the following situations show wrongful conduct that could result in a legitimate personal data breach claim:

  • The employer fails to update weak cyber security at the company. This allows a hack to happen more easily. An employee became a victim of identity theft as a result.
  • The employer failed to secure employee data stored on a device or laptop. The employer subsequently lost the laptop. Employees experienced extreme stress when unauthorised parties were able to view their health data held in digital HR files. 
  • The employer did not provide data awareness training to staff members who had access to personal data. This meant that when accounts sent payslips via email, they sent them to the wrong email addresses as there was no system for checking the correct email was being used.

Connect with our advisors to discuss your employer data breach. Compensation could be owed to you if wrongful conduct left you financially and/or emotionally harmed. Check your claim value today.

A magnet pulling passwords out of a laptop in an accidental data breach.

What Is The Time Limit For An Employer Data Breach Claim?

Claims for data breach compensation normally need to be made within a 6-year time limit. Certain exceptions can apply.  For precise advice regarding timeframes to start a data breach claim, contact our advisors.

What Evidence Could Help You Claim For A Workplace Data Breach?

To be eligible to seek employer data breach compensation, your claim must be supported by evidence. The following actions can help in this area:

  • An employee may become aware of a data breach by discovering it themselves, or when their employer notifies them. By law, data subjects must be notified without delay if the breach jeopardises their freedoms and rights. Therefore, any letter or email you have relating to this is supporting evidence if you decide to claim compensation.
  • You can ask your employer directly about the data breach. If they fail to provide a sufficient explanation, you can contact the ICO with your concerns. However, wait a period of no longer than 3 months after the last significant contact on the matter to do so.
  • Take this opportunity to collect all proof of financial and psychological harm caused by the data breach. Medical reports and bank statements can be used as evidence as well.
  • Consider seeking legal help. A data breach solicitor can provide expert support with every step of your claim, not just gathering evidence. Give us a call to learn more.

Evidence folder showing the data breach happened.

How Much Compensation For A Workplace Data Breach?

A successful claim for data breach compensation can consist of two categories of loss. Non-material damage compensates for the emotional distress created by the breach.

Those responsible for calculating a non-material amount can use medical reports to help them. Also, to arrive at a figure they may consult documents such as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

This publication lists award guidelines for various psychological injuries. To illustrate, we have compiled an excerpt from it below. Please note that these amounts are just a suggestion. Data breach claims differ according to the individual and other factors. Also, we include a topline entry to show how compensation can be awarded for extreme emotional distress and material losses. This figure is not from the JCG. 

Award Bracket Guidelines

Description SeverityGuideline
Very Severe Psychological Harm with Material Damage AwardSevere Up to £250,000+
General Psychiatric Harm(a) Severe £66,920 to £141,240
(b) Moderately Severe £23,270 to £66,920
(c) Moderate£7,150 to £23,270
(d) Less Severe £1,880 to £7,150
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(a) Severe £73,050 to £122,850
(b) Moderately Severe £28,250 to £73,050
(c) Moderate£9,980 to £28,250
(d) Less Severe £4,820 to £9,980

Also, an award for material damage may apply. This compensates for the claimant’s losses and financial harm brought about by the data breach. Documented proof is required in order to include a claim for material damage. This can be:

  • Payslips that indicate loss of income because of time off work with stress.
  • Invoices for the services of mental health counsellors.

If you have any questions about how damages are awarded in settlements for data breaches, speak to a member of our team. They can also help assess how much employer data breach compensation you could be eligible for.

Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Employer Data Breach Compensation?

The data breach solicitors on our panel can help eligible claimants in a number of ways. They can assist in gathering proof, including getting medical reports from specialists. They can assess what amount of damages you could be owed with greater accuracy. In addition to this, they can give your claim the attention and time it deserves while you concentrate on getting back to normal.

The solicitors on our panel can offer their services through a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Often a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is suggested because it means there are no initial solicitors’ fees needed to start work on your case. No service fees are required as the claim moves ahead either. And if the claim fails, no fees for the solicitor’s services apply for finished work. However, if your claim wins, your solicitor will deduct a percentage from your awarded compensation. This is known as a success fee and is subject to a legislative cap. 

If you feel that you can prove your employer is at fault for the data breach that left you financially and emotionally harmed, connect with our team. They can assess your employer data breach compensation case on the spot. Why not find out if you qualify to start a data breach claim?

  • Connect with our claims team on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us online to discuss how much compensation you could claim.
  • Talk to us through the live chat option at the bottom of this screen.

A solicitor discusses your claim for employer data breach compensation.

Read More About Making An Employer Data Breach Claim

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Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on claiming employer data breach compensation. For help with any other aspect of data breach compensation claims, just connect with our advisors.