Facebook Receives Maximum Fine for Personal Data Breach

On 25th October, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Facebook £500,000 for its serious breach of data protection laws between 2007 and 2014. This follows a Notice of Intent to fine Facebook which was issued in July 2018 as part of the ICO’s wider investigation into the breach.

Upon conclusion of its investigation, and having considered all representations made by the company, the ICO issued the maximum fine available under the laws which were applicable at the time of the offence. 

Trade Unions – Negotiating Civil Service Pay Rises

Compensation

In the case of R v Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Administrative Court held that government negotiators had not made an express promise concerning consultation over a government department’s remit for negotiating pay.

The Claimants in this case consisted of three independent trade unions who represented 200,000 civil servants employed by government departments, agencies and other public bodies.

Case Update: Morrisons Data Leak Ruling

Dan Dowen, a solicitor in the commercial department at Berry Smith, provides an update on this week’s breaking news surrounding the Morrisons’ data leak.

The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision that Morrisons is liable for a data breach that resulted in thousands of their employees’ details being posted online by a disgruntled employee. The case is the first data leak class action in the UK.

Case Law Update: Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and the Equal Pay Exemption

Compensation

In the case of Twenty-Four Seven Recruitment Services Limited and others v Afonso and others, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has provided some useful guidance on the level of detail that needs to be provided in an agency worker’s contract in order to invoke the equal pay (‘Swedish derogation’) exemption set out in the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR).

Case Law Update: Discrimination Arising From Disability

Compensation

In the case of Sheikholeslami v University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the Employment Tribunal (ET) had erred in applying a test of strict causation when determining a claim of disability discrimination. It confirmed that when considering a claim of discrimination arising from disability a looser causation test should be enforced.

New Regulations to Help Small Firms Recover Unpaid Invoices

Dispute

New regulations are being introduced to help small businesses recover unpaid invoices from large companies.

The changes will make it easier for firms to access invoice finance. Ministers say this could provide a £1bn long-term boost to the economy

Currently a small supplier’s contract with a larger company may prevent it from securing invoice finance from providers such as banks and other investors.

Vicarious Liability: Employer Held Liable For Data Breach By Disgruntled Employee

Compensation

In the case of VM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants, the Court of Appeal (“CA”) held that the supermarket chain Morrisons was liable for the actions of an employee who wrongfully disclosed the personal data of 99,998 of his colleagues.

The employee Mr Skelton, was a senior IT internal auditor employed by Morrisons. Having used Morrisons’ postal facilities for his private purposes without permission, an internal disciplinary hearing was held and Mr Skelton was given a formal verbal warning.

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