0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

enforced subject access requests now a criminal offence

13 March 2015

Since 10 March 2015 it has been a criminal offence, under s. 56 of the Data Protection Act 1998, to require individuals to make enforced subject access requests (SAR) whereby individuals’ provide personal information (including criminal records and cautions) to secure employment, goods, services or facilities.

The aim is to ensure such information is obtained through the Disclosure and Barring Service, shielding individuals from excessive disclosure of personal data that certain third parties may have no legitimate access to.

Enforced SARs remain permissible under rule of law or court order or if it is justifiable in the public interest. ICO guidance states “extremely strong justification” is needed to rely on the latter exception. For example the prevention or detection of crime would not benefit from the public interest defence due to the existence of formal criminal record checking procedures.

Organisations should ensure information related to individuals’ convictions and cautions is obtained through legitimate procedures as the offence can lead to an unlimited fine.

related opinions

Is it reasonable to dismiss an employee without any prior procedure being followed as a result of a breakdown in relations?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) finding that a dismissal may be fair despite no prior procedure being followed.

View blog

Furloughed employees entitled to full pay for redundancy purposes

The government has brought in new legislation to ensure that any employees who have been furloughed will have their statutory redundancy pay calculated based on their full-time wages as opposed their furloughed pay in the event that they are made redundant.

View blog

Return to work – all change or more of the same?

The Government has announced that its workplace guidance will change with effect from 1 August and its “work from home” message will be removed.

View blog

Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up