Data Protection Policy

Introduction

Staffplus (“The Company”) obtains, keeps and uses personal information (also referred to as data) about members of our workforce, during the course of our business activities and we are committed to treating it appropriately and lawfully.

The Company understands that personal information is valuable, important and sensitive and is committed to protecting the privacy and security of this information and complying with data protection laws.  We are also committed to providing clear information about how we obtain and use personal information, and how and when we delete that information once it is no longer required.

 

This Policy sets out how we ensure that the personal information of members of our workforce, is used, transferred, stored and disposed of appropriately and lawfully.

 

Its purpose is also to ensure that staff understand and comply with the rules about the collection, use and deletion of personal information to which they may have access in the course of their work.

 

The Company’s Data Privacy Manager is responsible for the Company's data protection compliance. If you have any questions or comments about the content of this policy or for further information, you should contact the Data Privacy Manager at derek@staffplus.co.uk.  

Scope

This Policy applies to all personal information we process regardless of how that data is stored or whether it relates to past or present employees, job applicants, workers, agency workers, consultants or contractors, interns, apprentices or volunteers

This Policy applies to our entire workforce, including employees, workers, agency workers, contractors and consultants. Where we refer to 'employees' and 'employment' in this Policy, this includes all the categories of our workforce listed above to the extent it is relevant to those individuals. 

 

This policy gives important information about:

  1. the Data Protection Principles with which the Company must comply;

  2. what is meant by personal information (or data) and sensitive personal information (or data);

  3. how we gather, use and delete personal information and sensitive personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Principles;

  4. where more detailed privacy information can be found, e.g. about the personal information we gather and use about you, how it is used, stored and transferred, for what purposes, the steps taken to keep that information secure and for how long it is kept;

  5. your rights and obligations in relation to data protection; and

  6. the consequences of failure to comply with this policy.

 

You must read, understand and comply with this Policy when processing personal information on our behalf.  You may also be required to attend training on the areas covered by this Policy.

You should refer to your Data Protection Privacy Notice and our other related policies including those relating to internet, email and communications, monitoring, social media, information security, and criminal record information for further information regarding the protection of personal information in those contexts, and to help you interpret and comply with this Policy.

Data Protection Principles

This Policy applies to all personal information we process regardless of how that data is stored or whether it relates to past or present employees, job applicants, workers, agency workers, consultants or contractors, interns, apprentices or volunteers

This Policy applies to our entire workforce, including employees, workers, agency workers, contractors and consultants. Where we refer to 'employees' and 'employment' in this Policy, this includes all the categories of our workforce listed above to the extent it is relevant to those individuals. 

 

This policy gives important information about:

  1. the Data Protection Principles with which the Company must comply;

  2. what is meant by personal information (or data) and sensitive personal information (or data);

  3. how we gather, use and delete personal information and sensitive personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Principles;

  4. where more detailed privacy information can be found, e.g. about the personal information we gather and use about you, how it is used, stored and transferred, for what purposes, the steps taken to keep that information secure and for how long it is kept;

  5. your rights and obligations in relation to data protection; and

  6. the consequences of failure to comply with this policy.

 

You must read, understand and comply with this Policy when processing personal information on our behalf.  You may also be required to attend training on the areas covered by this Policy.

You should refer to your Data Protection Privacy Notice and our other related policies including those relating to internet, email and communications, monitoring, social media, information security, and criminal record information for further information regarding the protection of personal information in those contexts, and to help you interpret and comply with this Policy.

Lawful reasons for processing personal information

In relation to any processing activity we will, before the processing starts for the first time and then regularly while it continues:
 

  • review the purposes of the particular processing activity, and identify the most appropriate lawful reason(s) for that processing, which may be one, or a combination of:

    • that the data subject has consented to the processing (this will only apply in limited circumstances);

    • that the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;

    • that the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the Company is subject;

    • that the processing is necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person;

    • that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or exercise of official authority;

    • that the processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests of the Company or a third party, except where those interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject;

  • (except where the processing is based on consent) satisfy ourselves that the processing is necessary for the purpose of the relevant lawful basis (i.e. that there is no other reasonable way to achieve that purpose);

  • document our decision as to which lawful basis applies, to help demonstrate our compliance with the Data Protection Principles;

  • include information about both the purposes of the processing and the lawful basis for it in our relevant and provide a copy of this to the individual(s) that the information relates to where appropriate;

  • where we rely on legitimate interests as our lawful reason for processing, ensure a legitimate interests assessment () is carried out to ensure we can justify our decision;

  • where sensitive personal information is processed, also identify a lawful special condition for processing that information (see below), and document it; and

  • where criminal records information is processed, also identify a lawful condition for processing that information, and document it (see below).
     

Where you process personal information on our behalf, you must ensure that you comply with the above requirements in order to help the Company meet its obligations. 


We keep a record of our processing activities in accordance with our obligations.

Sensitive personal information

Sensitive personal information is sometimes referred to as ‘special categories of personal data’ or ‘sensitive personal data’.


The Company may from time to time need to process sensitive personal information. We will only process sensitive personal information if:
 

  • we have a lawful reason for doing so, as set out above, e.g. it is necessary for the performance of the employment contract, to comply with the Company’s legal obligations or for the purposes of the Company’s legitimate interests; and

  • one of the special conditions for processing sensitive personal information applies, e.g. the:

    • data subject has given has given explicit consent (this will only apply in limited circumstances);

    • processing is necessary for the purposes of exercising the employment rights or obligations of the Company or the data subject;

    • processing is necessary to protect the data subject’s vital interests, and the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent;

    • processing relates to personal information which is manifestly made public by the data subject;

    • processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; or

    • processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.


In order to help the Company meet its obligations, whenever you process sensitive personal information on our behalf, you must ensure that you comply with the requirements set out above and elsewhere in this Policy, including that there is a valid lawful reason for the processing and one of the special conditions for processing sensitive personal information applies. If you are in any doubt about whether the information can be lawfully processed, please contact the Data Privacy Manager.


Your Privacy Notice sets out the types of sensitive personal information that the Company processes about our workforce, what it is used for and the lawful basis for the processing.


We give further information about how long we use sensitive personal information, when it will be deleted and how we safeguard it in this Policy and our related policies and procedures.  We will comply with this Policy and our related policies and procedures to ensure that we comply with the Data Protection Principles when we process sensitive personal information.


The Company will not carry out automated decision-making (including profiling) based on any individual’s sensitive personal information.
 

During the recruitment process: the HR department, with guidance from the Data Privacy Manager will ensure that (except where the law permits otherwise):
 

  • during the short-listing, interview and decision-making stages, no questions are asked relating to sensitive personal information, e.g. race or ethnic origin, trade union membership or health;

  • if sensitive personal information is received, e.g. the applicant provides it without being asked for it within his or her CV or during the interview, where practicable no record is kept of it and any reference to it is immediately deleted or redacted;

  • ‘right to work’ checks are carried out before an offer of employment is made unconditional, and not during the earlier short-listing, interview or decision-making stages;

  • we will only ask health questions in order to determine whether any reasonable adjustments are required prior to interview.

 

During employment: the HR department, with guidance from the Data Privacy Manager will collect, store and use:
 

  • health information for the purposes of administering sick pay, keeping sickness absence records, monitoring staff attendance, managing sickness absence or working capacity and related issues, and facilitating employment-related health and sickness benefits;

Criminal records information

We will only collect, store and use information about criminal convictions and offences if it is appropriate, given the nature of your role, and provided we are legally able to do so. Where appropriate, we will process information about criminal convictions and offences as part of the recruitment process or we may be notified of such information directly by you in the course of you working for us. Your Privacy Notice gives further details about how we obtain and use criminal records information about our workforce.

Where the Company processes criminal records information, we will follow this Policy and our related policies and procedures to ensure that we comply with the Data Protection Principles

Monitoring

Please refer to our IT and Communications Systems or Employee Monitoring Policy for information about our monitoring of telephone, email, voicemail, internet and other communications.

Data protection impact assessments (DPIAs)

Where processing is likely to result in a high risk to an individual’s data protection rights (e.g. where the Company is planning to use a new form of technology or process sensitive personal information on a large scale), we will, before starting the processing, carry out a DPIA to assess:
 

  • whether the processing is necessary and proportionate in relation to its purpose;

  • the risks to individuals; and

  • what measures can be put in place to address those risks and protect personal information.


Before any new form of technology is introduced, or other potentially high risk processing is carried out, the manager responsible should contact Data Privacy Manager in good time so that a DPIA can be carried out, if appropriate.

Privacy Notice

The Company will issue Privacy Notices from time to time, informing you about the personal information that we collect and hold relating to you, how you can expect your personal information to be used and for what purposes.  We aim to provide information in Privacy Notices in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language.
 

Whenever the Company first obtains personal information directly from an individual, we must also ensure that an appropriate Privacy Notice is provided to them.  When personal information is obtained indirectly (for example, from a third party or publically available source), we are required to provide the individual with certain information as soon as possible after we receive the data.  We must also check that the personal information was collected lawfully and on a basis which envisages our proposed use of that information. 


You must contact the Data Privacy Manager for further guidance whenever you are obtaining personal data, whether directly or indirectly, in the course of your role, to ensure we comply with our obligations to provide information.

Individual rights

You, as well as others, have the following rights in relation to your personal information (amongst others and subject to certain exemptions):

  • to be informed about how and why your personal information is processed - see your;

  • to make a data subject access request to obtain a copy of the personal information we hold about you and other information;

  • to have data corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete;

  • to have data erased in certain circumstances e.g. if it is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected or there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing;

  • to restrict the processing of personal information in certain circumstances e.g. where the accuracy of the information is contested, or the processing is unlawful (but erasure of the information is not appropriate), or where we no longer need the personal information but it is required to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim;

  • to ask to obtain a portable copy of those parts of your personal data where we rely on consent or performance of the contract as the justification for processing, or to have a copy of that personal data transferred to a third party controller; and

  • to object to processing which we have justified on the basis of a legitimate interest - in which case the relevant processing will only continue where we have compelling legitimate grounds for processing your personal information; and

  • to object to any decisions based solely on automated decision making.
     

If you wish to exercise any of the rights listed above or have any questions, please contact the Data Privacy Manager
.

If you receive a written request of the nature set out above you should forward it to the Data Privacy Manager.

Information security

The Company will use appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep personal information secure, and in particular to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage. These may include:
 

  • making sure that, where appropriate, personal information is pseudonymised or encrypted;

  • ensuring the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;

  • ensuring that, in the event of a physical or technical incident, availability and access to personal information can be restored in a timely manner; and

  • a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.


If and when the Company uses external organisations to process personal information on its behalf, additional security arrangements need to be implemented in contracts with those organisations to safeguard the security of personal information.


Before any new agreement involving the processing of personal information by an external organisation is entered into, or an existing agreement is altered or extended, the relevant staff must seek approval of its terms by the Data Privacy Manager and ensure we are meeting all of our data protection obligations in relation to that information.

Storage and retention of personal information

Personal information (and sensitive personal information) will be stored securely in accordance with the Company’s Information Security Policy.
 

Personal information (and sensitive personal information) must not be retained in a form which allows the individual that it relates to be identified for any longer than needed for the purposes for which it is being held.
 

The length of time for which data should be retained will depend upon the circumstances, including the reasons why the personal information was obtained and any relevant legal, regulatory or business considerations, and you should follow the Company’s Data Retention Guidelines (set out in Appendix 1 below) which set out the relevant retention periods, or the criteria that should be used to determine the appropriate retention period.


Personal information (and sensitive personal information) that is no longer required will be deleted permanently from our information systems and any hard copies will be destroyed securely.


You must help the Company comply with its obligations in relation to the storage and retention of personal data by not keeping personal information in a form which enables the identification of the person it relates to for longer than needed for the legitimate business purpose(s) for which we collected it. Where there is any uncertainty, you should consult the Data Privacy Manager for advice.

Data breaches

A data breach may take many different forms, for example:
 

  • loss or theft of data or equipment on which personal information is stored;

  • unauthorised access to or use of personal information either by a member of staff or third party;

  • loss of data resulting from an equipment or systems (including hardware and software) failure;

  • human error, such as accidental deletion or alteration of data;

  • unforeseen circumstances, such as a fire or flood;

  • deliberate attacks on IT systems, such as hacking, viruses or phishing scams; and

  • ‘blagging’ offences, where information is obtained by deceiving the organisation which holds it.


The Company will:
 

  • make the required report of a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office without undue delay and, where possible within 72 hours of becoming aware of it, if it is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals; and

  • notify the affected individuals if a data breach is likely to result in a high risk to their rights and freedoms and notification is required by law.


If you know or suspect that a data breach has occurred, you must immediately contact the Data Privacy Manager.  Do not attempt to investigate the matter yourself. You should preserve all evidence relating to the potential data breach.

International transfers

Personal information is transferred to another country when it is sent, transmitted, viewed or accessed in or to a different country. 
 

The Company will not transfer personal information outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Training

The Company will ensure that its workforce is adequately trained on their data protection responsibilities as part of the induction process. Individuals whose roles require regular access to personal information, or who are responsible for implementing this policy or responding to subject access requests under this policy, will receive additional training to help them understand their duties and how to comply with them.

Your obligations

You are responsible for helping the Company keep your personal information up to date. You should let the Data Privacy Manager know as soon as possible if the personal information you have provided to the Company changes, for example if you move house or change details of the bank or building society account to which you are paid.
 

You may have access to the personal information of other members of staff, suppliers and customers of the Company, that we are responsible for, in the course of your employment or engagement or otherwise. If so, the Company expects you to help meet its data protection obligations to those individuals. For example, you should be aware that they may also enjoy the rights set out above.  If you do have such access to personal information, you must:
 

  • only access or obtain the personal information that you have a job-related need and authority to access or obtain, and only for authorised and lawful purposes;

  • only allow other Company staff to access or obtain personal information if they have a job-related need to access that information, appropriate authorisation and a lawful reason for doing so;

  • only allow individuals who are not Company staff to access personal information if you have specific authority to do so from the Data Privacy Manager and suitable safeguards and contractual arrangements have been put in place.

  • ensure that the personal information we use and hold is accurate, complete, kept up to date and relevant to the purpose for which we collected it;

  • keep personal information secure (e.g. by complying with our rules on access to premises, computer access, password protection and secure file storage and destruction and other precautions set out in the Company’s ;

  • not remove personal information, or devices containing personal information (or which can be used to access it), from the Company’s premises unless appropriate security measures are in place (such as pseudonymisation, encryption or password protection) to secure the information and the device;

  • not store personal information on local drives or on personal devices that are used for work (or other) purposes;

  • comply with this Policy and our related policies and procedures; and

  • not keep personal information in a form which enables the individual that it relates to to be identified for longer than needed for the legitimate business reason(s) for which we originally collected it, and comply with our retention periods.


You should contact the Data Privacy Manager if you have any questions about this or are unclear about your responsibilities. 


You should also contact the Data Privacy Manager if you are concerned or suspect that one of the following has taken place (or is taking place or likely to take place):
 

  • processing of personal data without a lawful basis for its processing or, in the case of sensitive personal information or criminal records information, without one of the conditions set out above being met;

  • any data breach;

  • access to personal information without the proper authorisation;

  • personal information not kept or deleted securely;

  • removal of personal information, or devices containing personal information (or which can be used to access it), from the Company’s premises without appropriate security measures being in place;

  • personal information being retained for longer than it is legitimately needed for;

  • any other breach of this Policy or any of our related policies or procedures, or any of the Data Protection Principles set out above.

Consequences of failing to comply with this Policy

The Company takes compliance with this Policy very seriously. Failure to comply with the Policy:
 

  • puts at risk the individuals whose personal information is being processed; and

  • carries the risk of significant civil and criminal sanctions for the individual and the Company; and

  • may, in some circumstances, amount to a criminal offence by the individual.


Because of the importance of this Policy, an employee’s failure to comply with any requirement of it may lead to disciplinary action under our procedures, and this action may result in dismissal for gross misconduct. If a non-employee breaches this policy, they may have their contract terminated with immediate effect.


If you have any questions or concerns about anything in this policy, do not hesitate to contact the Data Privacy Manager.

Definitions used in this Policy:

automated decision making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention;
 

criminal records information means personal information relating to criminal convictions and offences, allegations, proceedings, and related security measures;


data breach means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal information;


data protection impact assessment means tools and assessments used to identify and reduce the risks of a data processing activity;


data subject means the individual that personal information relates to;


legitimate interests assessment or LIA means an assessment of what our legitimate interest is, whether the processing necessary to achieve that interest and balancing this against the individual's interests, rights and freedoms;


personal information (sometimes known as personal data) means information relating to an individual who can be identified (directly or indirectly) from that information;


Privacy Notice means a notice which sets out the type of personal information that we, as data controller, collect about certain types of individuals (e.g. our workforce), the purposes for which it is collected and how it is handled;


processing means obtaining, recording, organising, storing, amending, retrieving, disclosing and/or destroying information, or using or doing anything with it;


pseudonymised means the process by which personal information is processed in such a way that it cannot be used to identify an individual without the use of additional information, which is kept separately and subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal information cannot be attributed to an identifiable individual;


sensitive personal information (sometimes known as ‘special categories of personal data’ or ‘sensitive personal data’) means personal information about an individual’s race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership (or non-membership), genetic information, biometric information (where used to identify an individual) and information concerning an individual’s health, sex life or sexual orientation.

Appendix 1

Data Retention Guidelines

Introduction

The Company is committed to the efficient and appropriate management of the records it is responsible for, including in respect of the retention of your personal information.
 

These guidelines set out our approach to data retention.  They do not form part of your contract of employment and we may amend or update them, or the recommended retention periods set out in the Schedule below, at any time.

Retention of records

Our general approach is to only retain your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected by us or provided by you. These purposes are listed in our Privacy Notice and include for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
 

The Company is required by law and/or our regulatory obligations to keep certain types of records for a specified minimum period of time.  We may also have legitimate business reasons for keeping records for a period of time, which may in some cases exceed any minimum periods which we are required by law or regulatory obligations to keep them for, for example in order to resolve any queries or disputes which might arise from time to time.


Where the Company's records include personal data, we must also comply with the requirements under data protection law that personal data must be kept for no longer than is reasonably necessary for the purposes for which it is processed. 


This means that personal data should be securely destroyed or erased when it is no longer required, either to fulfil the purposes for which we collect your personal information or you provide it, to comply with legal or regulatory requirements in relation to record keeping or for legitimate business reasons.

Our standard data retention periods

Our standard data retention periods for HR records are set out in the schedule to this policy. 
 

It is important to note that these are standard retention periods, and there will be times when it is appropriate for us to depart from these periods, including keeping data for a longer period of time than is specified, for example where a legal claim is ongoing and the documents are relevant to that claim. 


In setting these standard retention periods, the Company has given careful consideration to the nature, sensitivity and amount of personal data contained in each type of record, the potential risk of harm associated with retaining it (including from it becoming outdated or inaccurate, or from unauthorised use or disclosure of it), the purposes for which it was obtained and any legal, regulatory, professional or legitimate business reasons for retaining it for a particular period of time.


Where there is any uncertainty about retention periods or anything else relating to this policy, you should consult the Data Privacy Manager for advice.


Records will be securely deleted or destroyed after the end of the relevant retention period, unless there is a particular reason for keeping them for longer.  In some circumstances, we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use that information on an ongoing basis without further notice to you, for example for statistical purposes.

Training 

Training is available on the issues covered by this policy. Please contact the Data Privacy Manager for further information.

Further Information

For further information or advice on the content or application of these guidelines, please contact the Data Privacy Manager who is responsible for data retention. 

Schedule: Our standard retention periods for HR records

The table below sets out our standard retention periods in respect of the key categories of HR records held by the Company, which take into account the legal, accounting/reporting and regulatory obligations on the Company and the Company's legitimate business reasons for retaining records for specified periods: