- Employees are in their right to ask for information that is on hold about them and it is their responsibility under the Data Protection Act to ensure that they comply with it
- The Data Protection Act contains 8 prinicples
- Data protection also applies when you are monitoring employees telephone calls, CCTV and emails, any employee who feels that their organisation has misused any information can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office
The Data Protection Act is there to protect the rights of individuals and ensure their personal data is kept safe, employers should open and honest about their employees information. All companies must comply as this act is mandatory and must comply with the 8 principles:
- All personal data should be processed fairly and legally
- All personal data should be kept in a secure placeplace
- Data should only be got for one or more lawful purposes
- It should not be kept longer than necessary
- Personal data should not be transferred outside the European Economic Areas unless they have adequate Data Protection in place
- Data should be processed in line with individual rights under the act
- All data should be accurate and kept up to date
- Data should adequate and relevant and not excessive
All employees under the act have a responsibility to ensure that their activities comply. Line managers also have a responsibility for the type of information they collect and how they use it they need to ensure that employees are given the necessary skills when handling personal data that they ensure they handle data appropriately outside the organisation and never disclose any of the information. Any data collected should be used for the purpose it was collected for and no other reason.
Employees can ask to see the data that the organisation has for them. This can include information relating to any grievances or any disciplinary that might have occurred in the past actions or information that has been used to monitor an individual’s performance. Arrangement should be in place that will deal with these request there is a 40 day time limit. The only time any information that might be withheld is if releasing it could make it more difficult to detect crime or the information is about national security. If you feel that your information is being misused or you feel it is not secured properly you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office
The Act will also apply to those employees being monitored; an example of this is when the employer used to detect crime or excessive private internet usage on e-mails and internet etc. However employee should be aware that they will and can be monitored and the nature and reason why.
Employers are in their right to seek information regarding an individual’s health if they are given consent by an employee freely. An employer should consider why they need this information and what information is needed. Any information that is collected should be held in a secure place, this could be password protected so that one or two people have access to. Any information collected by an employer they should be able to justified this.