POA Circulars

7 | 27.01.2020


In POA Circular 126 (23rd December 2019) we advised you about this serious issue. We have now instructed the Union’s Solicitors Thompsons to become involved. Their advice is that,

“The GDPR gives you a right to claim compensation from an organisation if you have suffered damage as a result of it breaking data protection law. This includes both “material damage” (e.g. you have lost money) or “non-material damage” (e.g. you have suffered distress).

The ICO cannot award compensation and so the route to it is either agreeing it with the data controller or via the Court. No Court action can be started before a pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the potential defendant. That letter should be sent at the earliest reasonable opportunity and since it needs to include at least the name of the Claimant; the nature of and basis for the entitlement to the remedies sought by the Claimant; and details of any funding arrangement in place that information will take some time to gather. The court will want to see some evidence of negotiating an outcome that avoids litigation.”

We have asked Thompsons to present us with a plan of action as soon as possible to enable all affected members to seek redress quickly and efficiently. There are thousands of potential claims and so this will need tailoring to our needs. When we receive that we will update you and ask you to register your details.

In the meantime, Thompsons have asked that anyone who is interested in that route approach SSCL to obtain details of whether and what information may have been accessed or exposed. Thompsons will ask you for this when preparing a claim and so it should be kept safely until then. To do this please email the Learning Data Team learning-data@gov.sscl.com and include, within the content of the email:

  • your name (and any previous names you were known by)
  • your employee number
  • the area of the MoJ you work in (HMPPS, HMCTS, LAA, OPG, MoJ HQ)
  • any previous MoJ email addresses. (This is important in verifying your identity. Please include any addresses that would have had.gsi.gov.uk, for example).

You should expect an answer from SSCL within two working days, although this may depend on the volume of requests. This service will be available until Friday 27th March 2020 after which the operational security team will handle any additional requests. Their email address is InformationmgmtSecurity@justice.gov.uk

The POA takes this very seriously indeed and will ensure that another Circular is released as soon as there is news to report.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary