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Legal Updates

Enforced subject access requests now a criminal offence

19 March 2015 #Employment


The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”)has produced guidance on the new law surrounding enforced subject access requests. A copy of the that guidance may be found here. Employers seeking to obtain details of an existing or future employee’s criminal history must now do so through the correct channel. In England and Wales, this is by way of an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (“DBS”) for one of three checks against the employee.

The three checks that can be made by the DBS are:

  • Basic: this will reveal an employee’s unspent convictions;

  • Standard: this will divulge details of an employee’s spent and certain unspent convictions together with any cautions, reprimands and final warnings; and

  • Enhanced: this will provide details of all of the above, together with certain information held by the police.

The new criminal offence came into force on 10 March 2015. Up until that date the ICO was concerned that many employers were  requiring future and existing employees to make subject access requests themselves and requiring employees to reveal the results to them. Should employers continue to do so they now run the risk of incurring an unlimited fine.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh
Senior Solicitor

E: kwalsh@clarkslegal.com
T: 0118 960 4692
M: 07776 305 578

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