I work as my companies I.T support manager for a medium sized firm of over 100 staff with a HR team of 3 people.
Last week I was working on a problem a member of the HR team had with their emails. I decided the best time to work on restoring the problem was when a member of the HR team was on annual leave.
With the permission of the HR manager I asked it was possible to archive some of the older emails to free up vital memory to which the HR Manager agreed and said I could have full access and archive emails over 200 days old. I had to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to starting the work which I signed.
As I was archiving the old emails. I found that the member of the HR team had been discussing my salary with my I.T staff via email. They had refered to me by my initials and discussed my wages, holiday entitlement and qualifications. The member of the HR team told one of my staff that he was better qualified than I, that he should request a pay rise and that he should take action against the company for being held back dispite being better qualified.
I was furious. I have’nt yet brought it up with the HR manager or any other collegues. I wish to seek advice first before proceeding.
I would like to ask:
- Can I raise a formal grievance against the HR staff in question
- Should I seek legal guidance and perhaps start legal proceedings?
- Is this a breach of data protection and If so, can I report the HR member to any external bodies?
Also I would like to mention the fact that the member of the HR team previously asked me to be an employment referee for a job she is going for. She asked me as she did not want to upset the HR Manager. Based upon my experience can I write a bad reference?