On 30 January 2019, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the eagerly awaited matter of R (on the application of P, G and W) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants)  UKSC 3 relating to the disclosure of criminal records.
Nothing has changed and yet everything has changed. One year on from the President’s Club dinner in London and some 15 months since Alyssa Milano kick-started the #MeToo movement on Twitter in October 2017, some have questioned what has actually changed in practice. After all, there has been no culture-changing legislation as we have had in recent years with disability and age, and the concept of sexual harassment has existed since the 1980s.
The instance of Ted Baker offers some important lessons to other employers as they seek to update their approach in a post-#MeToo era. One can only imagine what it was like for the HR department at Ted Baker last week, where the employee petition against a ‘forced hugs policy’ has focused much attention on the company’s culture.
Leaving aside the Brexit debacle, something that is keeping many employers awake at night these days is the risk of data loss and consequential liability. The introduction of the GDPR in May of this year has (rightly) concentrated minds on this area, and a salutory decision of the Court of Appeal in WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants on 22 October 2018 is not going to provide much comfort in that respect. It has significant consequences for all employers whose employees have access to important data.