Be careful what you ask for!

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Under the Data Protection Act it is now a crime to ask someone to exercise their subject access rights to reveal data held about them by someone else and to reveal that data to a person. In other words, you could be prosecuted if you ask an employee, a job candidate or a contractor, for example, to request and disclose information about their convictions and cautions.

This doesn’t mean that employers will always be denied access to these sorts of details. But you should use the checks available through the Disclosure and Barring Service rather than forcing someone to make a data subject access request. The latter is seen as an unfair way of an employer getting more information then they’re entitled to. That’s because subject access requests don’t distinguish between spent and unspent convictions and so result in disclosure of all personal information (with a few exceptions).

If you’re unsure about where this now leaves you, whether you are an employer or employee, speak to our employment specialist, Matthew Finley now. Call him on 01282 433241, or submit on online enquiry and a member of our team will be in contact with you shortly.