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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. She advises senior legal and HR stakeholders on a range of employment and data protection matters. 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 at external and internal client seminars on a range of topics, and is often quoted in mainstream media. She authored precedent policies for the UK's Practical Law Company and co-wrote the common concepts chapter of the Tolley's Discrimination Handbook.


Sam Rayner is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's Employment & Compensation practice, based in London. He qualified as a solicitor in 2017, before joining Baker McKenzie in April 2020 from another international law firm. Clients recommend Sam (Legal 500, 2019) as an "exceptionally bright and highly talented lawyer".

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