Enforced subject access requests now a criminal offence
19 March 2015
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.
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