Accidental Data Breach At Work Compensation Claims
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 9th August 2023. Can I make accidental data breach at work compensation claims? Successful personal data breach claims will have met certain criteria. Throughout this guide, we will discuss who could be eligible to make a claim if their personal data is breached.
Please note, though, that your claim is going to be at least partially unique. Some claims are similar, but no two are the same. Therefore, you might not find all of the answers you are seeking in this short guide. If you have more questions, call 0800 073 8804 and speak to an advisor, who will provide the answers. Or request a callback using our contact form.
Select A Section:
- What Are Accidental Data Breach At Work Compensation Claims?
- Personal Information Which Employers May Have
- Why Do Accidental Data Breaches At Work Occur?
- Can Staff Claim Compensation For A Breach At Work?
- What Could You Claim For An Accidental Data Breach At Work?
- No Win No Fee Claims For An Accidental Data Breach At Work
What Are Accidental Data Breach At Work Compensation Claims?
You may be wondering if you can make an accidental data breach at work compensation claims. Maybe your personal data has been sent in an email to the wrong recipient, or a letter containing your personal data has been posted to the wrong address by mistake.
Under data protection law that we will discuss later in the guide, a personal data breach can be an accidental or unlawful loss, destruction of data, alteration or disclosure. Or an authorised person accessing your personal data in a data security incident.
UK Data Protection Laws
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) oversees compliance with these laws. It is also the ICO to which you can report a data breach to.
Personal Information Which Employers May Have
Data protection and security laws do not protect all types of data. They protect personal and special category data, which is a type of personal data that needs added protection by its sensitive nature.
- Personal data – contact details, your name, address, date of birth, email address, or phone number. And financial data such as your credit card, debit card or bank account details.
- Special category data – your race, genome data, religion, sexual preferences, trade union memberships, political beliefs, etc.
Why Do Accidental Data Breaches At Work Occur?
Why do accidental data breaches occur? There are many reasons, such as human error. Employees may be unaware of their data protection obligations without proper workplace training.
Below are some examples of how data can be put at risk and result in data breaches
- Employee contracts are left out in an insecure location
- The proceedings of a hearing for disciplinary action are discussed with an employee who does not have the authority to know them.
- Your personal data is emailed to the wrong person, who is not authorised to have it.
- A lost or stolen device contained your personal data.
- A misdirected fax, sent to the wrong number, contained your data.
Can Staff Claim Compensation For A Breach At Work?
Can employees make accidental data breach at work compensation claims if they suffered mental harm or financial loss? In order to make a valid personal data breach claim, if your identifiable data was breached at work, you would need to prove;
- Your employer failed to comply with data protection laws, i.e. your employer did not correctly protect your personal data.
- Data that is personal or personally sensitive was breached,
- This caused you financial and /or mental harm.
If you want to find out if your claim could be valid, call and speak to one of our claims advisors. They can help you further.
How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Data Breach At Work?
There is usually a time limit you must adhere to if you have an eligible personal data breach claim following a data protection breach at work. The amount of time you’ll have to start a claim for an accidental data breach at work will depend on the type of organisation involved. Following a data breach, you’ll normally need to start your claim within one year if it’s against a public body. If you intend to claim against a non-public body, you will usually need to do so within six years instead.
Contact our advisors online or on the phone today if you need more advice regarding your eligibility to claim for a data breach at work. If it seems like you have a strong case, they could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors who could help ensure your claim is filed within the correct limitation period.
What Could You Claim For An Accidental Data Breach At Work?
A data breach could result in psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, stress and anxiety. Non-material damage look to compensate claimants for any injury to their mental health. Material damage compensates for monetary losses caused by the data breach.
In 2015, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc was heard at the Court of Appeal. The claimants received non-material damage for mental harm, despite not claiming any monetary losses.
The table below is based on the Judicial College Guidelines that are used by the legal system to value injuries.
|Health Problem||Severity||Additional Information||Potential Compensation|
|Stress Syndrome||Severe||Preventing the sufferer from working, or functioning at the same level as before suffering from PTSD. Every aspect of the sufferer’s life will be impacted negatively.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Stress Syndrome||Moderately Severe||The prognosis for recovery is better than severe PTSD, after receiving treatment. However, there is likely to be a significant level of ongoing disability.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|Stress Syndrome||Moderate||The sufferer will have largely recovered from PTSD. With any ongoing symptoms not causing disability.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Stress Syndrome||Less Severe||The sufferer will have almost fully recovered from PTSD within two years. With only minor symptoms persisting.||£3,950 to £8,180|
|Psychological injury||Severe||The sufferer will face a severe negative impact on their work, school, and home lives. The prognosis for recovery is poor. Extensive treatment may be required, and the victim could be vulnerable to future mental health problems.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Psychological injury||Moderately Severe||Mental health problems will have caused a significant impact on the home, school or work life of the sufferer. However, the prognosis for recovery is better than in the severe bracket.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychological injury||Moderate||The sufferer may have had their work, school or home life and ability to function impacted. However, their condition would have improved somewhat, with a good prognosis for recovery.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychological injury||Less Severe||Compensation received by the sufferer is dependent on a) the length of time they suffered for, and b) how badly sleep patterns and daily life were negatively impacted.||£1,540 to £5,860|
No Win No Fee Claims For An Accidental Data Breach At Work
Have you suffered financial loss or mental harm due to your employer breaching your data? Do you think you might have a valid claim?
In many cases, it can be possible to have data breach claims processed by a lawyer working under a No Win No Fee agreement. You won’t be asked to pay an upfront fee. And you won’t need to pay your lawyer a fee if the claim is not a success. A pre-agreed, legally limited success fee will be due to your lawyer if the claim is a success.
Do you have more questions? Would you like to learn more about whether you can make accidental data breach at work compensation claims? Then use the information below to get in touch.
Here are some useful web pages.
And here are some related guides that we have published that could help with data breach at work claims.