New criminal offence for employers forcing potential employees to obtain police subject access requests

14 November 2014

Employers cannot require people to use their subject access rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) to provide certain records, as a condition of employment. From 1 December 2014, this will become a criminal offence, and employers can be punished by a fine.

Details of the new criminal offence include the possibility of fines of up to £5,000 in England and Wales, or £10,000 in Scotland. An offence will be committed if an employer obliges an employee or someone applying for a job to use their rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) to provide certain records, as a condition of employment. There are some exceptions, particularly for roles where the employee will be working with children or vulnerable people.