The Data Protection Act 1998
The Company processes personal data in relation to its own staff, work-seekers and individual client contacts – therefore it is a “data controller” for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Company has notified the Information Commissioner’s Office – the Company’s data protection registration number is A8263190.
The Company holds personal data on individuals (“data subjects”) for the following general purposes:
- Staff administration.
- Advertising, marketing and public relations.
- Accounts and records.
- Administration and processing of work-seekers personal data for the purposes of work-finding services.
The eight principles of data protection
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires the Company as data controller to process data in accordance with the principles of data protection. These require that personal data shall be:
- Fairly and lawfully processed.
- Processed for limited purposes.
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
- Not kept longer than necessary.
- Processed in accordance with the data subjects rights.
- Kept securely.
- Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection.
“Personal data” means data, which relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data or from the data together with other information, which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into possession of the Company.
“Processing” means obtaining, recording or holding the data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the data. It includes organising, adapting and amending the data, retrieval, consultation and use of the data, disclosing and erasure or destruction of the data. It is difficult to envisage any activity involving data, which does not amount to processing. It applies to any processing that is carried out on computer including any type of computer however described, main frame, desktop, laptop, iPad, Blackberry ® or other mobile device.
Personal data should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is accurate, relevant and up to date and those people listed in the Appendix shall be responsible for doing this.
Personal data may only be processed with the consent of the person whose data is held. Therefore if they have not consented to their personal details being passed to a third party this may constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. By instructing the Company to look for work and by providing us with personal data contained in a CV work-seekers will be giving their consent to processing their details for work-finding purposes. If you intend to use their personal data for any other purpose you MUST obtain their specific consent.
Caution should be exercised before forwarding the personal details of any individuals on whom personal data is held, to any third party such as past, current or prospective employers, suppliers, customers and clients, persons making an enquiry or complaint and any other third party.
Sensitive personal data
Personal data in respect of the following is “sensitive personal data” and any information held on any of these matters MUST NOT be passed on to any third party without the express written consent of the individual:
- Any offence committed or alleged to be committed by them.
- Proceedings in relation to any offence and any sentence passed.
- Physical or mental health or condition.
- Racial or ethnic origins.
- Sexual life.
- Political opinions.
- Religious beliefs or beliefs of a similar nature.
- Whether someone is a member of a trade union.
From a security point of view, only those staff listed in the Appendix are permitted to add, amend or delete personal data from the Company’s database(s) (“database” includes paper records or records stored electronically). However all staff are responsible for notifying those listed where information is known to be old, inaccurate or out of date. In addition all employees should ensure that adequate security measures are in place. For example:
- Computer screens should not be left open by individuals who have access to personal data.
- Passwords should not be disclosed.
- Email should be used with care.
- Personnel files and other personal data should be stored in a place in which any unauthorised attempts to access them will be noticed. They should not be removed from their usual place of storage without good reason.
- Personnel files should always be locked away when not in use and when in use should not be left unattended.
- Any breaches of security should be treated as a disciplinary issue.
- Care should be taken when sending personal data in internal or external mail.
- Destroying or disposing of personal data counts as processing. Therefore care should be taken in the disposal of any personal data to ensure that it is appropriate. Such material should be shredded or stored as confidential waste awaiting safe destruction.
It should be remembered that the incorrect processing of personal data e.g. sending an individual’s details to the wrong person, allowing unauthorised persons access to personal data, or sending information out for purposes for which the individual did not give their consent, may give rise to a breach of contract and/or negligence leading to a claim against the Company for damages from an employee, work-seeker or client contact. A failure to observe the contents of this policy will be treated as a disciplinary offence.