GDPR introduces the concept of a “right of erasure” i.e. a ‘right to be forgotten’. Although the concept currently exists under EU law, it is currently applicable under very limited circumstances, when data processing may result in damage or distress.
Under the GDPR, pursuant to Article 17 and Recital 65, an employee will have a right to have his/her data erased and no longer processed, where consent of processing is withdrawn, where the employee objects to such processing, or where processing is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was gathered. That said, the employer, under certain circumstances, can refuse to comply with an employee’s request for erasure of personal data – where data processing is required by law or in connection with a legal proceeding.