On 24 January 2020, Mr Whitton’s former employers, 2K Polymer Systems were printing off Mr Whitton’s P45 together with another employee’s P45. As the printer was set on default double-sided printing, it resulted in the first page of Mr Whitton’s P45 being printed onto the back page of the other employee’s P45 and Mr Whitton’s personal details being sent to the other employee. Such personal details included Mr Whitton’s:
- National Insurance Number
- Tax Code
- Date of Birth
- Total pay to date
- Total tax to date
Upon discovering the breach, Mr Whitton instructed May Atkinson, Senior Associate of Irvings Law to represent him. The claim was presented to 2K Polymer Systems on the basis that they had breached their data protection obligations under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
2K Polymer Systems denied liability on the basis that they had reported the incident to the ICO who had confirmed that no further action needed to be taken. Mrs Atkinson responded to 2K Polymer Systems acknowledging the ICO response however emphasising that this was because 2K Polymer Systems had confirmed to the ICO that they had change their practice so as printing would be single-sided only to avoid the error from re-occurring. 2k Polymer Systems then sought to argue that this was an unintentional, ‘one-off’ incident and the effects were so negligible that compensation would not be paid. Again, this was challenged by Mrs Atkinson by reference to case law.
2K Polymer Systems then responded with an offer of £500 to cover Mr Whitton’s compensation and legal costs. Upon the advice provided by Mrs Atkinson, Mr Whitton rejected this offer. 2K Polymer Systems then responded with a further offer of £1,500 exclusive of legal costs. Following negotiations, 2K Polymer Systems increased their offer to £2,500 exclusive of Mr Whitton’s legal costs which Mr Whitton accepted concluding his claim.