General Data Protection Regulations Policy
We hold personal data about our employees, clients, suppliers and other individuals for a variety of business purposes. This policy sets out how we seek to protect personal data and ensure that staff understand the rules governing their use of personal data to which they have access in the course of their work.
The purposes for which personal data may be used by us:
Personnel, administrative, financial, regulatory, payroll and business development purposes.
Information relating to identifiable individuals, such as job applicants, current and former employees, agency, contract and other staff, clients, suppliers and marketing contacts.
Personal data we gather may include: individuals’ contact details, educational background, financial and pay details, details of certificates and diplomas, education and skills, marital status, nationality, job title, and CV.
Sensitive personal data
Personal data about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership (or non-membership), physical or mental health or condition, criminal offences, or related proceedings—any use of sensitive personal data should be strictly controlled in accordance with this policy.
This policy applies to all staff. You must be familiar with this policy and comply with its terms. This policy supplements our other policies relating to data protection. We may supplement or amend this policy by additional policies and guidelines from time to time. Any new or modified policy will be circulated to staff before being adopted.
Fair and lawful processing
We must process personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with individuals’ rights. This generally means that we should not process personal data unless the individual whose details we are processing has consented to this happening.
The Manager’s responsibilities:
- Keeping relevant employees updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues
- Reviewing all data protection procedures and policies on a regular basis
- Arranging data protection training and advice for all staff members and those included in this policy
- Answering questions on data protection from staff, board members and other stakeholders
- Responding to individuals such as clients and employees who wish to know which data is being held on them
- Checking and approving with third parties that handle the company’s data any contracts or agreement regarding data processing
Responsibilities of the IT Manager:
- Ensure all systems, services, software and equipment meet acceptable security standards
- Checking and scanning security hardware and software regularly to ensure it is functioning properly
- Researching third-party services, such as cloud services the company is considering using to store or process data
Responsibilities of the Marketing Manager:
- Approving data protection statements attached to emails and other marketing copy
- Addressing data protection queries from clients, target audiences or media outlets
The processing of all data must be:
- Necessary to deliver our services
- In our legitimate interests and not unduly prejudice the individual’s privacy
- In most cases this provision will apply to routine business data processing activities.
Our Terms of Business contains a Privacy Notice on data protection. The notice:
- Sets out the purposes for which we hold personal data on customers and employees
- Highlights that our work may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers
- Provides that customers have a right of access to the personal data that we hold about them
Sensitive personal data
In most cases where we process sensitive personal data we will require the data subject’s explicit consent to do this unless exceptional circumstances apply or we are required to do this by law (e.g. to comply with legal obligations to ensure health and safety at work). Any such consent will need to clearly identify what the relevant data is, why it is being processed and to whom it will be disclosed.
Accuracy and relevance
We will ensure that any personal data we process is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was obtained. We will not process personal data obtained for one purpose for any unconnected purpose unless the individual concerned has agreed to this or would otherwise reasonably expect this.
Individuals may ask that we correct inaccurate personal data relating to them. If you believe that information is inaccurate or if your personal circumstances change, you should inform <Insert Manager’s Name> so they can update records.
You must keep personal data secure against loss or misuse. Where other organisations process personal data as a service on our behalf, the Manager will establish what, if any, additional specific data security arrangements need to be implemented in contracts with those third party organisations.
Storing data securely
- In cases when data is stored on printed paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised personnel cannot access it
- Printed data should be shredded when it is no longer needed
- Data stored on a computer should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly.
- Data stored on CDs or memory sticks must be locked away securely when they are not being used
- The Manager must approve any cloud used to store data
- Servers containing personal data must be kept in a secure location, away from general office space
- Data should be regularly backed up in line with the company’s backup procedures
- Data should never be saved directly to mobile devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones
- Approval must be sought from the Manager before any large data downloads occur.
- All servers containing sensitive data must be approved and protected by security software and strong firewall.
We must retain personal data for no longer than is necessary. What is necessary will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into account the reasons that the personal data was obtained, but should be determined in a manner consistent with our data retention guidelines.
Transferring data internationally
There are restrictions on international transfers of personal data. You must not transfer personal data anywhere outside the UK without first consulting the Manager.
Processing data in accordance with the individual’s rights
You should abide by any request from an individual not to use their personal data for direct marketing purposes and notify the Manager about any such request. Do not send direct marketing material to someone electronically unless you have an existing business relationship with them in relation to the services being marketed. Please contact the Manager for advice on direct marketing before starting any new direct marketing activity.
Conditions for processing
We will ensure any use of personal data is justified using at least one of the conditions for processing and this will be specifically documented. All staff who are responsible for processing personal data will be aware of the conditions for processing. The conditions for processing will be available to data subjects in the form of a privacy notice.
The data that we collect is subject to active consent by the data subject. This consent can be revoked at any time.
Criminal record checks
Any criminal record checks are justified by law. Criminal record checks cannot be undertaken based solely on the consent of the subject.
Upon request, a data subject should have the right to receive a copy of their data in a structured format. These requests should be processed within one month, provided there is no undue burden and it does not compromise the privacy of other individuals. A data subject may also request that their data is transferred directly to another system. This must be done for free.
Right to be forgotten
A data subject may request that any information held on them is deleted or removed, and any third parties who process or use that data must also comply with the request. An erasure request can only be refused if an exemption applies.
All staff will receive training on this policy. New joiners will receive training as part of the induction process. Further training will be provided at least every two years or whenever there is a substantial change in the law or our policy and procedure.
Data audit and register
Regular data audits to manage and mitigate risks will inform the data register. This contains information on what data is held, where it is stored, how it is used, who is responsible and any further regulations or retention timescales that may be relevant.
All members of staff have an obligation to report actual or potential data protection compliance failures. This allows us to:
- Investigate the failure and take remedial steps if necessary
- Maintain a register of compliance failures
- Notify the Supervisory Authority (SA) of any compliance failures that are material either in their own right or as part of a pattern of failures
Everyone must observe this policy. The Manager has overall responsibility for this policy. They will monitor it regularly to make sure it is being adhered to.
Consequences of failing to comply
We take compliance with this policy very seriously. Failure to comply puts both you and the organisation at risk. The importance of this policy means that failure to comply with any requirement may lead to disciplinary action under our procedures which may result in dismissal.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything in this policy, do not hesitate to contact the Manager.