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  • Helen Manson

Bake Off is back on...let's hope there's no breach in confidentiality this year.


Data breaches are becoming increasingly common with the advances in social media. If you're able to establish a data breach with intent, you will need effective procedures in place in order to manage the situation appropriately.

Without them, you could be faced with a claim for unfair dismissal.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is when data (complex, protected or confidential) has been viewed, taken or used by an individual without proper authority. What should I do if I suspect there has been a data breach? 1. Review your policies and procedures to identify which policies may have been breached

You should have a confidentiality policy, a social media policy, and a disciplinary procedure. These vital documents will help to identify if the employee has breached a contractual obligation, and how you should deal with the employee. These will usually be in your staff handbook or in the employee’s contract of employment.

2. Investigate

Depending on the circumstances you may decide suspension is appropriate but, proceed with caution! Suspensions are not always seen as a neutral act. And a thorough and fair investigation is essential.

3. Outcome of the investigation - is a disciplinary recommended? Ultimately, the severity of any sanction depends on the seriousness and circumstances of the breach - does the evidence suggest the breach was spiteful in nature or merely negligent?

If there’s one thing you need to do to get your house in order, ensure you have the essential policies listed above. Achieve this and you’ll find dealing with a data breach is far more straightforward than you think.


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