Help Refugees: Data Protection Policy

Introduction

Purpose

The organisation is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses the personal data of its workforce, and to meeting its data protection obligations. This policy sets out the organisation’s commitment to data protection, and individual rights and obligations in relation to personal data.

This policy applies to the personal data of job applicants, employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, donors, and former employees, referred to as HR-related personal data.

What this policy applies to

This policy applies to “Personal data” which is any information that relates to an individual who can be identified from that information. Processing is any use that is made of data, including collecting, storing, amending, disclosing or destroying it.

In addition, particular care will be taken in the processing of Special categories of personal data” which means information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life or sexual orientation and biometric data. Similar care will be taken in processing “Criminal records data” which means information about an individual’s criminal convictions and offences, and information relating to criminal allegations and proceedings.

Data protection principles

The organisation processes HR-related personal data in accordance with the following data protection principles:

  • The organisation processes personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
  • The organisation collects personal data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
  • The organisation processes personal data only where it is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing.
  • The organisation keeps accurate personal data and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that inaccurate personal data is rectified or deleted without delay.
  • The organisation keeps personal data only for the period necessary for processing.
  • The organisation adopts appropriate measures to make sure that personal data is secure, and protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and accidental loss, destruction or damage.

The organisation will hold and process HR-related personal data (including special categories of personal data) which has been or is in the future obtained by the organisation for purposes relating to the administration, management and operation of an individual’s employment or engagement (including payment of wages and maintenance of attendance, performance and conduct records) or in relation to the organisation’s legal obligations or operational needs. Such processing will be conducted by the organisation because it: is necessary for the performance of the employment contract or other contract under which the person is engaged;  is necessary to comply with a legal obligation to which the organisation is subject; and/or is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the organisation. On occasion the organisation will also rely upon consent and, where it does so, consent can be withdrawn by notifying the organisation.

The organisation will tell individuals the reasons for processing their personal data, how it uses such data and the legal basis for processing in its privacy notices. It will not process personal data of individuals for other reasons.

The organisation will update HR-related personal data promptly if an individual advises that his/her information has changed or is inaccurate.

Personal data gathered during the employment, worker, contractor, donor or volunteer relationship, is held in the individual’s personnel file (in hard copy or electronic format, or both), and on HR systems. The periods for which the organisation holds HR-related personal data will vary depending upon the information held, but for most HR-related personnel data will be no more than seven years after the relationship has ended, albeit some records will need to be retained for longer to, for example, ensure that there is a record retained of who has been employed and when.

The organisation keeps a record of its processing activities in respect of HR-related personal data in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Individual rights

As a data subject, individuals have a number of rights in relation to their personal data.

Subject access requests

Individuals have the right to make a subject access request. If an individual makes a subject access request, the organisation will tell him/her:

  • whether or not his/her data is processed and if so why, the categories of personal data concerned and the source of the data if it is not collected from the individual;
  • to whom his/her data is or may be disclosed, including to recipients located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and the safeguards that apply to such transfers;
  • for how long his/her personal data is stored (or how that period is decided);
  • his/her rights to rectification or erasure of data, or to restrict or object to processing;
  • his/her right to complain to the Information Commissioner if he/she thinks the organisation has failed to comply with his/her data protection rights; and
  • whether or not the organisation carries out automated decision-making and the logic involved in any such decision-making.

The organisation will also provide the individual with a copy of the personal data undergoing processing. This will normally be in electronic form if the individual has made a request electronically, unless he/she agrees otherwise.

If the individual wants additional copies, the organisation will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost to the organisation of providing the additional copies.

To make a subject access request, the individual should send the request to person identified. In some cases, the organisation may need to ask for proof of identification before the request can be processed. The organisation will inform the individual if it needs to verify his/her identity and the documents it requires.

The organisation will normally respond to a request within a period of one month from the date it is received. In some cases, such as where the organisation processes large amounts of the individual’s data, it may respond within three months of the date the request is received. The organisation will write to the individual within one month of receiving the original request to tell him/her if this is the case.

If a subject access request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, the organisation is not obliged to comply with it. Alternatively, the organisation can agree to respond but will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost of responding to the request. A subject access request is likely to be manifestly unfounded or excessive where it repeats a request to which the organisation has already responded. If an individual submits a request that is unfounded or excessive, the organisation will notify him/her that this is the case and whether or not it will respond to it.

Other rights

Individuals have a number of other rights in relation to their personal data. They can require the organisation to:

  • rectify inaccurate data;
  • stop processing or erase data that is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
  • stop processing or erase data if the individual’s interests override the organisation’s legitimate grounds for processing data (where the organisation relies on its legitimate interests as a reason for processing data);
  • stop processing or erase data if processing is unlawful; and
  • stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or if there is a dispute about whether or not the individual’s interests override the organisation’s legitimate grounds for processing data.

To ask the organisation to take any of these steps, the individual should send the request to the person identified in this policy.

Data security

The organisation takes the security of HR-related personal data seriously. The organisation has internal policies and controls in place to protect personal data against loss, accidental destruction, misuse or disclosure, and to ensure that data is not accessed, except by employees in the proper performance of their duties.

Where the organisation engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, such parties do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

Data breaches

If the organisation discovers that there has been a breach of HR-related personal data that poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will report it to the Information Commissioner within 72 hours of discovery. The organisation will record all data breaches regardless of their effect.

If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will tell affected individuals that there has been a breach and provide them with information about its likely consequences and the mitigation measures it has taken.

International data transfers

The organisation will not transfer HR-related personal data to countries outside the EEA.

Individual responsibilities

Individuals are responsible for helping the organisation keep their personal data up to date. Individuals should let the organisation know if data provided to the organisation changes, for example if an individual moves house or changes his/her bank details.

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