Protection from dismissal for data protection officers

Do data protection officers have special protection from dismissal? A recent (non-final) ruling in Spain clarifies the remedies for DPOs who are unfairly dismissed, and Ius Laboris lawyers explain how the position differs in their countries.



At the time of writing, no court decisions relevant to Article 38(3) of the GDPR have been issued in Greece. L. 4624/2019 which incorporated the GDPR into Greek law provides for the protection of DPOs against unfair dismissal when employed in the public sector, where the designation of a DPO is mandatory. This means the DPO must not be dismissed or sanctioned by the controller or processor for having performed his or her duties. Furthermore, the termination of the DPO’s employment contract or the revocation of the delegation of his/her duties, where the DPO is also an employee of a public authority, is only permitted for good cause. After the termination of his or her employment contract as a DPO, s/he may not be dismissed for one year, unless the public authority has good cause to terminate the employment.

In the private sector, the designation of DPO is not obligatory, except when sensitive personal data is processed, and there are not, to date, particular provisions protecting the DPO in the event of unfair dismissal other than those generally applying in such cases.

Written by: Konstantina Botsari

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