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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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RBS pay details exposed in Hays email

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Recruitment specialist Hays has launched an internal investigation after one of its employees forwarded on an email revealing the pay of thousands of contractors who work for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

According to Sky News, the message, which disclosed the pay of about 3,000 contract and temporary staff employed in areas such as HR and risk management, was sent inadvertently to 800 of them.
 
The data is believed to show that some workers are paid as much as £2,000 per day – a sum likely to cause controversy in a bank that is more than 80%-owned by the taxpayer.
 
Hays, which employs more than 7,000 workers, insisted that the security breach should not lead to concerns over identity theft because no bank account or national insurance details had been divulged – only roles and pay rates.
 
The firm said in a statement: “Hays Plc confirms that yesterday some data relating to a number of temporary workers and contractors working for the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS) was inadvertently released in an email attachment to a number of Hays’ temporary workers and contractors.”
 
It recognised that the “correct treatment of data is of the utmost importance” and was taking its unauthorised release “extremely seriously”. “We are working with RBS to recover the data from recipients where possible. Recipients of the data are also subject to confidentiality obligations to both RBS and Hays,” the company continued.
 
It had also launched an internal investigation in order to understand how the situation could have occurred and would review its procedures to ensure that such an incident could not happen again, the recruiter added.
 
An RBS spokesman said: “We can confirm that confidential personnel data has inadvertently been shared by a contractor working with the Group. No customer information has been compromised.”
 
It is currently unclear whether the bank intends to seek compensation for the security breach or whether it will alter the terms of its contract with Hays.
 
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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