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In brief

In an article published in Compliance and Risk Journal, we consider the data protection and privacy considerations in employee investigations and explain how to minimize associated risks for employers.

Key takeaways

  • Employee investigations are data-heavy and, where these materials either identify or relate to particular individuals, they will contain personal data and trigger stringent obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Failure to comply with data protection laws can lead to fines of up to EUR 20 million or 4% of worldwide annual turnover for GDPR breaches. There is also enhanced regulator interest in employee monitoring and increasing employee awareness of data protection rights.
  • It is therefore crucial for employers to consider privacy and data protection compliance from an early stage, and embed these considerations into planning, implementation, and ongoing review of the conduct of employee investigations.

Click here to access the full article and guidance for employers.


Julia Wilson is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Employment & Compensation team in London and co-chair of the Firm's Workforce Redesign client solution. Julia also leads the employment data privacy practice in London. Julia advises multinational organisations on a wide range of employment and data protection matters. She is highly regarded by clients, who describe her as a “standout” performer who "knows how we think." A member of the Firm's Pro Bono Committee, she plays a lead role in the Firm's pro bono relationship with Save the Children International. She also collaborates with Law Works to deliver employment law training to solicitors who provide pro bono advice to individuals. Julia regularly presents and moderates panels on podcasts, webinars and in-person events, is often quoted in mainstream media, and authors articles and precedents for a range of industry and other publications.

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