Bristol woman speaks out after Tesco loses her personnel records, including details of her post-natal depression
A Bristol woman has been left “stunned and distressed” after discovering that her former employer Tesco lost 15 years’ worth of her employment records, including counselling notes and personal medical information about her post-natal depression.
Jacqueline Ogborne discovered that her employment records had been lost when she was pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim against Tesco. She asked for Tesco to disclose her personnel file and the supermarket giant admitted that despite an extensive search, they could not find it.
Jacqueline is speaking out about the impact on her, after specialist data breach solicitors Hayes Connor have helped her to secure £3,000 in compensation.
“It astounds me that such private information has been lost. I’ve got no idea where it is and who has been able to read some of the most personal information about me,” says Jacqueline, age 55.
The lost records include 15 years’ of personnel records, including GP sick notes, appraisals and meeting notes. Of most concern is the detailed health information the records contained, which related to Jacqueline’s absences from work, including counselling notes and personal medical information about her post-natal depression.
“Anyone who has experienced post-natal depression will know how vulnerable you feel. This was an incredibly challenging time for me. When I shared this personal information with my employer, I thought I could trust them to look after it and keep it secure,” adds Jacqueline. “I feel violated, and although I’m pleased that Tesco has settled my compensation claim, the distress does not go away. I still don’t know where those files are or who has access to them.”
Ben Brown, Litigation Executive, a data breach expert from Hayes Connor, who represented Jacqueline in her compensation claim against Tesco said: “Employers need to do more to keep the information they hold about employees safe and secure. We are seeing more and more cases like this, where employees are discovering that private information has been misplaced or lost. Employers must have effective processes in place, particularly as they may be asking for ever more personal information from employees, including Covid-19 vaccination status.”
Hayes Connor was one of the first law firms in the UK to specialise in data protection law and data breach claims and has one of the largest teams of data breach experts in the country. It acts for clients on individual data breaches and also where the private information of a group of people has been compromised as part of a targeted attack or a large-scale data breach.