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

Legal fees for advising on settlement agreements

When entering into a settlement agreement, it is a requirement for the employee to get independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement.

View blog

Would you work for free?

The gender pay gap continues to make headlines but disparities in pay for disabled workers is given significantly less attention.

View blog

Annual Injury and Ill-Health Statistics for Great Britain: still too high?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual report detailing the number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain, and its statistics show that this number is too high.

View blog

IR35 and the Issue of Control

The Upper Tribunal (UT) has considered the issue of control in the case of Christa Ackroyd Media Ltd –v- The Commissioners for HMRC and has upheld the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that IR35 applied.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up