An employee who took company records with him when he left his job was fined for committing a criminal offence under data protection legislation.
To ensure maximum protection of their business, employers will want to ensure that they have sufficient and robust contractual terms in place with employees who have access to valuable company records. This is likely to include:
- Express confidentiality obligations that apply both during and after termination of their employment;
- An obligation to return all company property and information upon request and in any event upon termination of their employment; and possibly even
- Post-termination restrictions, such as a time limited prohibition on the employee joining a competitor after their employment ends (because it can often be difficult to police whether an employee has taken records and is using them elsewhere).
Review your contractual documentation to ensure that your business is protected.
“Taking client records that contain personal information to a new job, without permission, is a criminal offence." “Employees need to be aware that documents containing personal data they have produced or worked on belong to their employer and are not theirs to take with them when they leave. Don’t risk a day in court by being ignorant of the law.”